From staff reports
Newly promoted Louisville Police Department Sgt. Tonya McWhirter complimented the students for their attentiveness over the last 10 weeks to the DARE program and making good decisionsas part of the April 17 DARE graduation ceremonies.
“I’m very proud of each you,” said Sgt. McWhirter.
The Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education (DARE) program is a 10-week course that is taught in the 5th grade classrooms for Noxapater, Nanih Waiya, Louisville and Winston Academy. The program had over 260 students involved this year.
The students in addition receiving recognition also heard from Louisville Mayor Will Hill, LPD police Chief L.M. Claiborne and the featured speaker Jeff Killion of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.
Killion talked to the students about making good choices and how bad decisions can affect each person’ future.
“You can make good choices. You are somebody,” said Killion.
Mayor Hill and LPD Chief Claiborne also talked to the students about their future and how important it is.
“The tools she (McWhirter) has taught you can help make your future bright,” said Hill.
The program also recognized some stand out students and class rooms with awards. D.A.R.E. essay winners were (one from each class):
Ms. Swearigan – D.J. Kelly
Mrs. Adams – Bayla Eubanks
Louisville Elementary Schools
Mrs. Chandler – Mykymia Wilson
Mrs. Fondren – Je’Leia Hathorn
Mrs. Bonkowski – Kaylee Tullos
Mrs. White – Isaiah Frazier
Ms. Bush – Darius Hickman
Ms. Winters – Tyquon Hudson
Ms. Spiers – Zachary Windham
Mrs. Ward – Makayla Paty
Nanih Waiya Schools
Mrs. McDaniel – Allison Bostick
Mrs. Holdiness – Hailey Simpson
Ms. Rogers – Merievelyn Kent
Mrs. Lowery – Brylee Wall
The Star Students for D.A.R.E. were:
Noxapater Schools – Elizabeth Atkinson
Louisville Elementary – Kaylee Frazier
Nanih Waiya Schools – William “Billy” Russell
Winston Academy – Cooper Lane Sanders
The Students of the Year were:
Noxapater Schools – Aaron Lampley
Louisville Schools – Legolas Cistrunck
Nanih Waiya Schools – Lauren Smith
Winston Academy – Carley Peterson
The Classroom Graffiti Winners were:
Mrs. Lowery’s Class, Winston Academy – “I Tune Out Drugs”
Mrs. White’s Class, Louisville Elementary – “Dare to take the Right Path”
Third Place (tie)
Mrs. Holdiness’ Class, Nanih Waiya – “Keep Calm & Dare Don’t Do Drugs
Mrs. Chandler’s Class, Louisville Elementary – “Don’t Get Caught in the Web of Drugs”
Honorable Mentions (Classroom Graffiti)
Ms. Winter’s Class, Louisville Elemetary – “Striving to be a Drug Free World”
Mrs. Fondren’s Class, Louisville Elementary – “There is No Need”
(Tie) Mrs. Bonkowski’s Class, Louisville Elementary – “Strike 1,2,3, You Are Out”; Mrs. McDaniel’s Class, Nanih Waiya – “Stop Text”
McWhirter added how proud she was that the students used the DARE knowledge to relate to their own lives in the essays and the graffiti.
The Louisville Police Department provides the DARE officer to all the schools headed up by DARE officer Tonya McWhirter.
D.A.R.E. is a worldwide organization that focuses on life skills for the youth around the world. The program was founded in 1983, at Los Angeles, Calif.