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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Sheriff’s Office DARE Program Names Overall Essay Winner

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office named Joseph Davies Elementary School fifth-grader Baylee Deogracias the overall essay contest winner for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program’s fall and spring semesters of the 2021-22 school year. With Deogracias are (l-r) Capt. Lisa Jackson, Maj. Daniel Bostic, Sgt. Darrin Miller and Davies teacher Monica Oggs.

Photos Courtesy of S.B.S.O.

From St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office

The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office named Joseph Davies Elementary School fifth-grader Baylee Deogracias the overall essay contest winner for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program’s fall and spring semesters of the 2021-22 school year.

Sheriff James Pohlmann said the D.A.R.E. program, taught year-round to St. Bernard Parish fifth-graders by program supervisor Capt. Lisa Jackson and Sgt. Darrin Miller, is aimed at discouraging youngsters from using drugs, including tobacco and alcohol, or taking part in violence or bullying of others.

At the culmination of the D.A.R.E. program’s spring and fall semesters, students are required to write essays about their experience during the program. First- and second-place essay winners are selected for both semesters at each school by Capt. Jackson and Sgt. Miller. 

Each school holds a D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony at the end of its program where students hear from Sheriff Pohlmann about making good choices when it comes to drugs and alcohol and bullying. At the ceremony students receive their certificates of completion and essay winners read their essays and receive awards. 

The 2021-22 school year fall semester consisted of about 750 fifth-graders from Lacoste Elementary, Arabi Elementary, St. Bernard Christian Academy, Chalmette Elementary, Willie Smith Elementary and Our Lady of Prompt Succor.  

Deogracias was among nearly 250 St. Bernard Parish fifth-graders to complete the anti-drug program’s 2021-22 school year spring semester from Joseph Davies Elementary, J.F. Gauthier Elementary and Arlene Meraux Elementary schools. 

Deogracias’ essay was selected as the overall winner by Capt. Jackson and Sgt. Miller from 1,000 submissions they received from both the fall and spring semesters of the 2021-22 school year.

Deogracias was honored May 4 at Davies Elementary’s D.A.R.E. graduation as one of the school’s first-place essay contest winners, and again May 18 as the overall essay winner during Davies Elementary’s end of the 2021-22 school year closing awards ceremony.

Maj. Daniel Bostic, who oversees the Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division Narcotics Unit, along with Capt. Jackson and Sgt. Miller presented Baylee with a special plaque, a Darrin the Lion D.A.R.E. mascot stuffed animal and a $50 gift certificate to Rotolo’s Pizza.

As St. Bernard’s 2021-22 overall essay contest winner, Deogracias will now advance to the district level D.A.R.E. program essay competition. A winner will be named over the summer. 

Joseph Davies Elementary School fifth-grader Baylee Deogracias who was named the overall winner of the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Drug Abuse Resistance Education essay contest for the 2021-22 school year received a special plaque, a Darrin the Lion D.A.R.E. mascot stuffed animal and a $50 gift certificate to Rotolo’s Pizza.

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