Waller Elementary celebrates DARE graduation with skits

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The students at Waller Elementary School in Bossier City showed their appreciation for their school resource officer and D.A.R.E. instructor, Deputy Rusty Shoemake, by performing various skits with “Rusty’s Lemonade Stand” to show just how much they learned in the D.A.R.E. program.

“I loved it,” said Dep. Shoemake, who’s been an SRO at Waller for three years.

The 5th grade students performed various skits to show how they can resist drugs and alcohol as they leave elementary school and head to middle school.  It was tribute to Dep. Shoemake to show just how much they learned, and they performed various scenes such as “Strength in Numbers,” “Walking Away,” and “Changing the Subject.”  Three classes of students with 63 children graduated the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program in a ceremony Tuesday morning. 

 “We’re so proud of you,” said Principal Mitch Maxwell. “We hope that you always use these skills for the rest of your life when you get in a tough situation.”

Lt. Adam Johnson, director of security of Bossier Parish Schools, talked about the importance of family involvement.

“Bossier Parish Schools is very fortunate, and it’s mainly because of your support of the parents and the support system you have given us,” Lt. Johnson noted.  “We’re one of only two parishes in the entire state of Louisiana that has a P.O.S.T.-certified law enforcement officer in every one of our public schools.”

Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington is a long-time supporter of the D.A.R.E. program and emphasizes its importance to the deputies, teachers, students, and parents.   The program is a semester-long curriculum taught by Sheriff’s deputies that promotes good decision skills.  It also helps develop confidence-building and coping skills.

During today’s ceremony, Principal Maxwell welcomed everyone, as Morgan Robinson and Lydia Carpenter led in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Deputy Shoemake; Lt. Johnson; and Lt. Walt Hollis of Special Services spoke about the importance of making smart choices. 

Yoselin Padilla Hernandez was the D.A.R.E. report winner for Ms. Shirer’s class, Adyssey Gray Hurrington was the winner for Mrs. Devillier’s class, and Noor Abuasbeh was the essay winner for Mr. West’s class.

The students also recited the D.A.R.E. Pledge led by Kay’lee Mack, Assistant Principal Nichole Nuccio drew the name for the winner of Daren the Lion, which went to Jecourin Swinney.

About 1,700 students in the 5th grade will graduate D.A.R.E. in Bossier Parish this school year, and the final Curtis Elementary will hold its graduation on May 9.