Friday, July 12, 2024

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A-O teacher named state D.A.R.E. Educator of the Year

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Veteran teacher Erika Kennedy surprised by announcement during class Tues. morning

Altamahaw-Ossippee Elementary School 5th grade teacher Erika Kennedy has been named the North Carolina D.A.R.E. Educator of the Year. In a surprise ceremony Tuesday morning, A-O principal Erin Millspaugh, ACSO D.A.R.E. Instructor Sgt. Chad Laws, and Sheriff Terry Johnson made the announcement in Kennedy’s classroom.

Sheriff Terry Johnson, Sgt. Chad Laws, and principal Erin Millspaugh (at right) surprise Erika Kennedy in her class Tuesday morning with the news that she has been named North Carolina’s D.A.R.E. Educator of the Year.

Sgt. Laws made the nomination to the North Carolina D.A.R.E. Officers Association. Kennedy will receive the award at the NCDOA’s conference in Atlantic Beach, on June 15, 2023. [For full text of Sgt. Chad Laws’ letter HERE.]

Kennedy began her teaching career at A-O Elementary School 19 years ago after moving to the area from New York. At this morning’s ceremony she was presented with a certificate, an Alamance County Sheriff’s Office Challenge Coin, an ACSO cup, along with flowers and balloons. The 5th graders showed their excitement with shouts and applause for their teacher.

D.A.R.E., which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, focuses on assisting students in developing basic fundamental skills needed for making safe and responsible choices.

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Lesson topics include: the harmful effects of alcohol and tobacco products, risk and consequences, peer pressure, dealing with stressful situations, communication confidently and effective listening, how to safely report bullying, helping others to demonstrate being a good citizen, and assisting students in outlining their own person help networks.

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