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Saratoga School celebrates D.A.R.E graduation ceremony

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 9:58 p.m. CDT
(Photo provided)
Front Row (from left to right): Nathan Jepson, Charles Pascual and Sara Thomas. Back Row (from left to right): Dr. Pat Halloran, Chief Brent Dite, officer Scott Ator, officer Doris Noll, officer Jessica Smith and Mayor Richard Kopczick.

MORRIS – On Nov. 19, Saratoga School and the Morris Police Department held the fifth-grade D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony at Saratoga School. 

Principal Joe Zweeres welcomed the many parents and guests to the ceremony and thanked them for their attendance and support of the graduates and Morris police D.A.R.E. program, according to a news release.

The students participated in the 11-week program, which focuses on teaching life skills that will help them make positive decisions as they grow up. The program stresses how being drug free helps build a foundation for the rest of their lives. 

Morris Community High School District Superintendent Pat Halloran was the featured speaker. 

Since acronyms are used throughout the D.A.R.E. program, Halloran introduced the acronym C.A.R. to the students. Halloran spoke about the importance of character, attitude and relationships and how they influence the lives of young people. 

He gave examples of some important “learning moments” in his life and how those moments helped mold him into the person he is today. Halloran congratulated the students and wished them good fortune in the future. 

As part of the 11-week D.A.R.E. program, each student wrote an essay about what they learned in D.A.R.E. and why they think it is important to be drug and violence free. 

A representative from each class was recognized and each read his or her essay as part of the graduation ceremony. Class representatives received a D.A.R.E. sports ball and a D.A.R.E. essay winner medallion. 

The class representatives were Matthew Lawton, Nathan Jepson, Sara Thomas and Charles Pascual.

Each D.A.R.E. graduate received a D.A.R.E. T-shirt, a D.A.R.E. pin and a certificate recognizing their achievement. 

Patrol Officers Doris Noll, Scott Ator and Jessica Smith were the instructors for the program this year. 

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