Sixth graders complete DARE program, poster, essay winners recognized

Officer Kevin Landorf awards certificates to Chatfield Elementary's sixth grade DARE students during the graduation ceremony last Wednesday. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS

DARE essay contest winners received certificates to commemorate their achievements. From left are Katie Cocker, Maverick Beck and Gage Bartels. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
By : 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Chatfield News

“Earlier this year, I thought DARE was all about not doing drugs…but it’s not just about learning how to not do drugs. There were some issues I did not know how to address that now I do, and it’s because I learned it in DARE. I DARE you to resist drugs and violence,” said Chatfield Elementary School (CES) sixth grader Henry Worden.

Worden shared this observation before his classmates during the annual Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education (DARE) graduation ceremony held last Wednesday, May 2, at CES.

The entire sixth grade class and Chatfield Police Officer Kevin Landorf marked the completion of the 2018 DARE curriculum with the ceremony. He congratulated them for their willingness to learn about how to make the right choices. An audience of parents, family and members of the Chatfield community was there to witness the special occasion.

Landorf recognized several students’ achievements, including those of the poster and essay contest winners. He shared that Gage Bartels, Katie Cocker and Maverick Beck were the essay contest winners and, in addition to the winners, he had chosen three students to receive honorable mention — Nevada Lueck, Evelyn Goldsmith and Brayden Horsman.

The poster contest entrants had some particularly stiff competition at both the local and state level, as Ellie Ruskell, Jacquelyn Bernard and Katrina Slawson were chosen as the local winners, and Slawson’s poster garnered sixth place in state and Bernard’s earned 14th. The state winners’ posters were to be hung at the capitol if there was room among the other winners’ posters.

Students receiving certificates of graduation included Alec Armstrong, Gage Bartel, Chloe Berg, Jackson Boysen, Caden Boyum, Bralyn Burnett, Lauryn Daniels, Parker Delaney, Mackenzee Douglas, Ruby Evans, Samual Finley, Anna Johnson, Annika Kirchner, Charleigh Larson, Nevada Lueck, Connor McGill, Miles Mulhern, Kayla Novotny, Devin Reinhardt, Eliana Ruskell, Jonathan Sanchez, Kailan Schott, McKenzie Shoemaker, Parker Tessier-Morse, Henry Worden, Kory Aarhus, Nathan Allen, Callen Backer, Jacquelyn Bernard, Layne Clemens, Katie Cocker, Jack Dornack, Brayden Fretland, Trevor Garner, Tyler Glenzinski, Evelyn Goldsmith, Bjorn Guzman, Shane Hitchcock, Braelee Horsman, Kaitlyn Janet, Keira Kobs, Katelyn Luehmann, Morgan Morey, Arvin Ni, Carter Schlink, Trevor Schoenfelder, Skylar Sherman, Jack Volker, Joselyn Wilson, Zaccheus Askvig, Kiley Baldner, Kailyn Barnhart, Maverick Beck, Tadyn Burnett, Ty Cain, Landon Crowson, Mary Halvorson, Alexis Henry, Alexis Hinckley, Brayden Horsman, Lelaina Irih, Colton Johnson, Nicholas Long, Marianna Miron, Cole Novotny, Samantha Oeltjen, Ethan Schleusner, Breah Schlink, Kieran Schmaltz, Ethan Schoenfelder, Katrina Slawson, Lucais Thompson and Carson Voeltz.

Landorf commented, “Once again, congratulations to you kids. I look forward to seeing you continue to learn…and growing up to be the best that you can be. Thank you to parents, family members and the community.”

At the close of the ceremony, Landorf and CES staff expressed appreciation to the community for its support of the students’ DARE education, including local businesses such as Dairy Queen, Cabin Coffee, Threads and Subway, and to the sixth graders who designed the program covers for the graduation — Kailyn Barnhart, Katie Cocker, McKenzie Douglas, Keira Kobs, Nick Long, Morgan Morey, Cole Novotny and Henry Worden.

CCTV recorded the graduation, making it available at a later date on the CCTV cable channel and on the Chatfield city website — to log onto the website, go to