WARSAW — Students from Harrison, Madison, Claypool, Sacred Heart, Leesburg, Washington, Jefferson, Eisenhower and Lincoln elementary schools, along with their families, teachers and DARE officers, gathered at the Grace College Manahan Orthopaedic Center, Winona Lake, Tuesday, May 15, for the annual DARE graduation.
DARE, which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, is a program that was founded in 1983 and is now being implemented in 75 percent of school districts in over 52 countries. The program is led by police officers and teaches children how to resist peer pressure and live productive, drug-free lives.
The event began with Warsaw Police Department Detective Brad Kellar entering the event on a police motorcycle. He then performed the National Anthem with help with the Fort Wayne Police Honor Guard.
Cayman Blake received the Special Recognition Award. Blake and Honorary Warsaw Police Officer Drake Price led the students in the traditional R.O.A.R. greeting.
Warsaw Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert was the keynote speaker for the graduation ceremony. He gave the students three pieces of advise. The first piece of advice was to find the person you would trust to throw you off a cliff. Hoffert shared a story about how his son trusted him to throw him off a cliff into the water at just four years old. He encouraged students to find adults in their lives that they trust and can go to with any questions. His second piece of advice was that teamwork makes the dream work, he emphasized that students often reflect the actions of other students they hang out with. Hoffert’s final piece of advice was to focus on their goals and their futures.
DARE Officers Ray Navarro and Allen Danko presented Hoffert and Chief Academic Officer David Robertson with a special banner to honor the partnership between the police department and the school. Sept. 19 will mark 30 years that the DARE program has been taught at Warsaw schools.
There were a number of students presented with awards. Some of the awards received are listed below.
2018 Student of the Year Awards
Sacred Heart Catholic School – Joey Rostrelli
Jefferson – Sarah UM
Claypool – Scout Shilling
Lincoln – Isiah Lara
Eisenhower – Alexsys Pion Durst
Leesburg – Jesus Campos
Washington – Cameron Manuel
Madison – Claire Reichenbach
Harrison – Aubrey Harp
2018 DARE ESSAY WINNERS
Elizabeth Vander Bie
2018 Officers Choice Award Winners
Dee Dee Polk