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5th Graders Graduate from DARE Program



(June 5, 2018) The DARE program, sponsored by the Columbia County Sheriff's Department, celebrated 27 years at Ichabod Crane with the DARE Graduation on Friday, June 1. The D.A.R.E program, which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, is a 10-week classroom program taught by Deputy Wendy Guntert.

Ichabod Crane Elementary fifth graders received Certificates for completion of the "Keepin' It REAL" program. The DARE program features the DARE Decision Making Model, a guide to help students to make safe and responsible life choices. Timely topics include Communication Styles, Signs of Stress, Responding to Pressure, and Responsibly Reporting Bullying.

The ceremony began with the following class representatives leading the Pledge of Allegiance: Sam Altomer, Christopher Cruz, Leo Grout, Ryder Herchenroder, Emma Holmberg, Jalen Norbrun and Nick Pagliaron.

The program was student led by Sarah Balon, Paige Everett, Blaise Perez, Angelina O'Leary, Chase Morrison, Audrey Church and Brendan Lockmer.

The students were joined on the stage by Superintendent Michael Vanyo, Elementary Principal Tim Farley and Assistant Principal Anthony Marturano, Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett, SRO Deputy Van Alstyne and several law enforcement officials.

During the ceremony, Ms. Khondker led the students through songs including "Hall of Fame," "Watch As We Walk" and the "DARE Song."

Each student was asked to take everything they have learned and write an essay about their commitment to making safe and responsible decisions. The following class winners for top essays were recognized:

  • Mrs. Bell and Mrs. Carey's class: Sophia Karic
  • Mrs. Bifano’s class: Keneisha Koonce
  • Ms. Bolstad and Ms. Hamm’s class: Lauren Stigi
  • Mr. Dingee’s class: Remidee Delaney
  • Mrs. Jermain and Mrs. Wheeler’s class: Patrick Carroll
  • Mrs. Rivero's class: Kadry MacDonald
  • Mr. Soulia’s class: Katelyn Meltz

The 5th grade classes were also asked to complete their DARE planners on a weekly basis. Those students with the most complete and high quality planners were recognized. The following are the class winners for top planners:

  • Mrs. Bell and Mrs. Carey's class: Jade Amerling, Callan Heimroth, Holly LaBatt, Abigail McCagg and Shane Seftner
  • Mrs. Bifano’s class: Aiden Jones, Nick Pagliaroni and Aiden Swanson
  • Ms. Bolstad and Ms. Hamm’s class: Michael Clark, Yogi Culver, Daniel Lanzer and Daisy Morales
  • Mr. Dingee’s class: Rylee Dunn, Adam Face, Brooke May, Grace Pisa and Abigail Thomas
  • Mrs. Jermain and Mrs. Wheeler’s class: Rose Holliday, Isaac Kuhnen, Julia Songayllo, Heidi Storch and Riley Strobel
  • Mrs. Rivero's class: Brandon DaCosta, Henry Deleissegues, Ella Gerkman, Devin Scali and Brody VanWagner
  • Mr. Soulia’s class: Ian Cunningham, Patrick Graziano, Kohana Kriss, Ashley Loyola and Connor McDarby

The following awards were also presented:

  • Triple "C" Award: Zoe Bertram. Triple C represents Character, Courage, and Commitment. These students have shown a commitment to learning, their community, and their fellow classmates.

  • NYS Comptroller Award: Brendan Lockmer. This award recognizes a student who has shown academic excellence and involvement in activities that improve the community.

Following the presentation of the DARE ceritifcates, students made a special presenation to Deputy Guntert who then gave closing remarks.

The Kinderhook Elks provided a BBQ after the ceremony. Graduates will also have fun at the "DARE Beach Party."

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