Hundreds of 5th graders complete DARE program

From press and staff reports

Fifth graders throughout Winston County made a commitment to be drug
free as part of the 2013 DARE program and graduation on April 19.

About 200 students, their parents, families and program supporters
gathered in the Louisville Elementary School auditorium for the
presentation of awards from the program. DARE officer Tonya McWhirter
led the presentation and program.

Drug Abuse Resistance Education or D.A.R.E aims at keepings kids from
using illegal drugs while preventing violence and bullying. The
program aims to help students develop good decision making skills and
how to make proper choices in life situations.

“We began a new D.A.R.E curriculum this year called “Keeping in Real
and it’s mostly about choices,” said Officer McWhirter. “The students
did a great job with it (the new curriculum).”

According to McWhirter, the new curriculum focuses on making
decisions using the D.A.R.E. decision-maker model, which teaches
students to define, examine, respond to and evaluate challenges in life.

Throughout the 10-week program, students learn to use this model to
make the best decisions in a variety of situations.

McWhirter also noted how much she enjoyed working with the students
and teachers in the program from all the schools.

The program also featured Louisville Mayor Will Hill, Louisville
Police Chief L.M. Claiborne and special guests 2013 Mrs. Mississippi
Sagen Gunnoe and her husband Air force officer Major Lacy Gunnoe.

Mayor Hill congratulated the students and noted that each one has
choices to make everyday and the choices they make and how they deal
with others will determine much in their life.

“Make better choices and be careful with your choices,” said Mayor Hill.

Lacy Gunnoe and his wife Sagen talked with the students about each
person’s value in this world and how important it is to work hard
toward your dreams.

“The only thing between you and gaining your dream is you,” said
Sagen Gunnoe. “Choose your dream over drugs, bullying or other bad

Sagen Gunnoe over came scoliosis and an eating disorder to accomplish
her dreams.

Lacy Gunnoe pointed out, “What defines me is the challenges in life
and how I choose to handle them.”

The program also included students from Noxapater, Louisville, Nanih
Waiya and Winston Academy gaining awards in for Star Students,
Students of the Year, Essay Winners and Class Graffiti winners.

Star Students: Noxapater – Dashad Hornesberger, Louisville
Elementary – Kameron Logan, Nanih Waiya – J.J. Beeman and Winston
Academy – Ethan Jordan

Students of the Year: Noxapater – Elizabeth Childress, Louisville
Elementary – Lakira Jackson, Nanih Waiya – Bailey Gregory, Winston
Academy – Jessica Demboski

Essay Winners: Noxapater School- Mrs. Humphries- Samantha McVay; Ms.
Frey- Christopher Roberts

Louisville Elementary- Mrs. Schimmel- Jaquez Thames; Mrs. Matzek-
Amani Lyons; Ms. Menninger- Nykerria Triplett; Mrs. Horne- Brianna
Boyd; Mrs. Wallace- Kameron Rogers; Ms. Winters- Jaquayvius Hawthorne

Nanih Waiya: Mrs. Hampton- Will White; Mrs. Holdiness- Kaylee Gregory
Winston Academy: Mrs. Rogers- Taylor Gregory; Mrs. Lowery- Lexy Deese

Graffiti Winners
First Place – Winston Academy —Duck Dynasty Starring Daren

Second Place – Ms. Menninger’s Class-Louisville Elementary —Skating
Our Way To Be Drug Free
Third Place – Noxapater —Do The Time, Pay The Crime

Honorable Mentions
Nanih Waiya —Warriors Stomp On Drugs
Louisville Elementary – Mrs. Matzek’s Class —High School, College, Now
Louisville Elementary – Mrs. Schimmel’s Class —Ways To Be In Charge