Runnels Elementary D.A.R.E. Essay Winners Announced
The entire fifth-grade class at Runnels School celebrated the successful completion of the 18-week D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) course with a graduation ceremony in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre Jan. 10.
Hosting the event was D.A.R.E. instructor Cpl. Amie Genola of the EBR Sheriff's Office. New to Runnels this year, she succeeds Cpt. Randy Aguillard, the D.A.R.E. officer at Runnels for the last 25 years, who now supervises the program. Head of School Marcia Mackay thanked Cpt. Aguillard, who was a guest of honor at the ceremony, for his years of exceptional service to students and formally welcomed Cpl. Genola to Runnels.
A highlight of the ceremony was the announcement of this year's essay winners. They are Andrew Hart, 1st place; Dana Badawi, 2nd place; and Derek Houk, 3rd place. Cpl. Genola presented each winner with an award certificate and gift. She read Andrew's essay to the audience, presented him with the D.A.R.E. essay medal, and announced that he was eligible to move forward in further D.A.R.E. essay competition. Cpl. Genola also presented a special award for good character to fifth grader Emma Smith.
Each of the 40 D.A.R.E. graduates received a certificate of completion and a handshake from Cpl. Genola. On behalf of the students, fifth-grade social studies teacher Cheyenne Davis presented Cpl. Genola with a thank you card.
The D.A.R.E. program is designed to assist students in recognizing the consequences of illegal drug use and provide practical advice on resisting their use.