DARE program’s graduates take a bow

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Officer Walter Richards granted DARE diplomas at graduation to these members of the 5th grade class. (Emily Strauss was absent for the photo.)

The 5th graders of Shelter Island School celebrated Friday as they graduated from the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (DARE) led by Shelter Island Police Officer Walter Richards. The March 25 ceremony was held in the school auditorium.

To complete the program, students participated in 10 weeks of classroom sessions designed to help them establish the life skills necessary to make informed choices and to avoid involvement with drugs, alcohol and violence.

Each of the participants was asked to write an essay that was presented in class, and three were selected by Officer Richards, based on content and presentation, to be read at graduation. This year’s top essays were written by Hayley Lowell-Liszanckie, Danny Boeklen and Bianca Evangelista.

Also graduating  were: Caitlin Binder, Nicholas Cogan, Wesley Congdon, Lindsey Gallagher, Luke Gilpin, Joshua Green, Jack Lang, Sarah Lewis, Daniel McCafferty, Lucia Mulligan, Stephen Murphy, Caitlynn Sharp, Isabella Sherman, Phoebe Starzee and Emily Strauss.

During the ceremony, the students heard from guest speakers, 2009 graduates Justin Reilly and Kaitie McGayhey.

DARE is a joint program of the Shelter Island School and the Town of Shelter Island.