Auburn Fifth Graders Graduate from DARE
Forty-eight Calvert Elementary School students of Kellen Conroy, Susan Pease and Helen Pugh graduated Monday morning, May 3, from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program.
Parents attended the program at the Calvert gymnasium.
Trooper Wayne Trantham, who taught the students, said that Auburn was his first duty station as a state patrol officer. He said that Auburn was one of his favorite schools. Trantham said that his two children attended Sheridan Elementary School.
“Auburn will always be special in my heart. I enjoy the students. It’s worth it,” he said of teaching DARE.
Trantham said that he has taught DARE at Auburn seven years and has taught DARE 12 years overall.
“DARE is a proud and honorable program. DARE is important to you. I want you to stay committed when you graduate. You can still have great goals and dreams,” he said.
Trantham said that teachers and administrators are supportive of the program. Trantham, who retired from the State Patrol last year, said that grants, and contributions from businesspersons and others enable him to teach DARE on a contract basis.
In DARE, the fifth graders learned how to handle bullying, and how to stay away from drugs and violence. Students have to stay away from drugs and violence, not be suspended from school and write an essay to successfully complete the program. In the essay, the students wrote what they learned in the program and why it was important to be drug free. Role models from Auburn High School spoke to the students.
“The role modeling process is extremely important,” Trantham said.
Trantham urged the youths to tell their parents about the program. He praised how the teachers worked with the students. Trantham said that it was easy to teach DARE in Auburn. The students demonstrated the DARE claps they learned in the program.
Four youths read their essays: Johnny Gill and Grace Nelson, students of Conroy; Kaylan Covington, student of Pugh and Courtney Clark, student of Pease. Trantham said that it was tough to select which essays were read.
Laura Osborne, director, Nemaha Against Drug & Alcohol Abuse Coalition, said that coalition members cared about youth and wanted to see them succeed.
“We want to help you stay free of drugs and alcohol. Drug free is the way to be,” Osborne said.
She urged the youth to join Youth Against Drugs & Alcohol (YADA) when they became sixth graders.
Osborne told the parents that they are the biggest factor and influence on whether their youth will choose to use drugs and alcohol. She said that parents needed to be good role models and to set examples for their youth.
Representatives of YADA, Region V, PTO and Auburn Public Schools contributed to and supported the program. PTO members provided refreshments which were served after the ceremony.
2009-10 DARE graduates were, with teacher:
Kellon Conroy: Payton Alexander, Jaxson Balm, Alexis Ford, Casey Frerichs, Grady Furnas, John Gill, Shalee Gyhra, Tessa Hannaford, Jacelyn Jones, Riley Keig, Mikaela Miller, Sarah McCullough, Sydney Neal, Grace Nelson, Sara Robke, Nikhole Sherman, Tristan Unruh and Scott Young.
Susan Pease: Megan Borrell, Leighton Casey, Courtney Clark, Abby Friesel, Kataleena Helmick-Shefferd, Skyler Hopper, Megan McConnaughey, Shasta McConnaughey, Angel Milke, Samuel Neiman, Hallie Nichols, Ian Noel, Hunter Sherman, Triston Tunstall and Hayleigh Waddell.
Helen Pugh: Shy-Anne Abbott, Grace Allgood, Cheyenne Chase, Devon Clark, Kaylan Covington, Brittny Culling, Darik Holt, Justice Maher, Sheila Murphy, Victoria Nee, Leanna Reeves, Allyson Reiman, Hezekiah Santana, Zachary Steele and Megan Wright.