By Joseph McCain The Winston County Journal
Eleven fifth-grade classes from Louisville Municipal School District and Winston Academy received their D.A.R.E. graduation certificates Friday, March 30. “Hopefully will take what they learned and apply to their life,” said Louisville DARE Police officer Tonya McWhirter. D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) aims to educate students on building resistance techniques to alcohol, drugs and violence as well as teach each student to consider consequences, resist pressure while improving self-esteem and decision making. DARE officer McWhirter opened the event and introduced several guests including Louisville Mayor Will Hill and LPD chief L.M. Claiborne. “We are so of each of you. You are a great asset to the community,” said Mayor Will Hill. LPD chief L.M. Claiborne added that a key to success and “surrounded yourself with those that want to succeed. Chief Claiborne also introduced the guest speaker Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director Marshall Fisher. Fisher discussed the importance of staying drug free and offered an alternative meaning of DARE- Dreams, Actions, Resistance, and Encourage. He explained each student should go after their dreams which takes action in life and resistance to bad decisions as well as everyone needing an encourager in life. The program also recognized some stand out students and class rooms with awards. D.A.R.E. essay winners were – one from each class. They included: Essay winners were Abria Lewis of Noxapater; Daijonna Long, Ashanti Cistrunk, Ellis Harrington, Shadacion Pledge, Derrion Dora, Marcus Glenn of LES; Chanley McDaniel and Tyree McClendon of Nanih Waiya; Anna Grace Woolery and Taylor Sinclair of Winston Academy. Star students were: Ariel Moore of Noxapater, Courtney Campbell of LES, Zeke Jones of Nanih Waiya and Gregg Holdiness of Winston Academy. Students of the year were Raleigh Parker of Noxapater; Alexcia Colston of Louisville Elementary; Reese Fulton of Nanih Waiya and Lauren Littrell of Winston Academy. Classroom graffiti winners were Mrs. Rogers class at Winston Academy with first place; Ms. Menninger’s second place of LES; Mrs. Horne’s of LES with third place. Ms. Schimmel’s of LES, Mrs. Humphries’ class of Noxapater, and Mrs. Mitchell’s of Winston Academy. Officer McWhirter closed the program by recognizing all those that support the DARE program including the city leaders and police chief. She also recognized Winston County Sheriff Jason Pugh who also served as a DARE officer when he was on the LPD.