It is with great pleasure that I nominate Ms. Erika Kennedy for the N.C. D.A.R.E. Educator of the Year award. Ms. Kennedy is a 5th grade teacher at Altamahaw-Ossipee Elementary School in Alamance County. I have been teaching the elementary D.A.R.E. curriculum to her 5th grade students each year for the past five years. Ms. Kennedy is loved by her students! They thrive within the structure she provides in her classroom. Every day, she shows her passion for teaching and her desire for students to not just excel academically, but become responsible and successful members of our community.
Ms. Kennedy and I collaborate in many ways to ensure our elementary school D.A.R.E. curriculum is taught effectively to her students. From the moment I walk into her classroom to the time I leave, Ms. Kennedy and her students always make me feel welcome and right at home. Ms. Kennedy fosters a classroom atmosphere where students come in eager to learn, while also showing good character and positive behavior. This is a "win-win" situation for any D.A.R.E. Officer. Ms. Kennedy assists me with placing students into cooperative learning groups as well as helping me monitor group activities. She observes student participation and gives feedback during our activities. Ms. Kennedy is always willing to offer her perspectives during our lessons. She frequently shares stories of her own personal experiences that coincide and help to elaborate on key points discussed in the D.A.R.E. lesson being taught that day. This enables better connections to be established with students. Ms. Kennedy has familiarized herself with our D.A.R.E. curriculum to the extent that when time is running short and I have to get to my next class down the hall, she readily volunteers to help me review the lesson key terms and journal sections with students. Each year, she also spends countless hours helping students edit their D.A.R.E. essays so they will be ready to present to their class.
I am excited to have this opportunity to nominate Sheriff Chip Hughes as the Glen Mowery Executive of the Year. I have worked for the Craven County Sheriff’s Office for just 2 years, and Sheriff Hughes has gone above and beyond for the D.A.R.E. program in Craven County. It has truly been a blessing to get to work with him and for him. After moving to Craven County, I had chosen to change career fields, when I realized I couldn’t leave law enforcement I was fortunate enough to be able to start as an SRO with the Craven County Sheriff’s Office. I have never for a second regretted that decision. Sheriff Hughes is a big part of the reason why. Sheriff Hughes shows true dedication to his deputies and the citizens of Craven County. Whether it’s a traffic stop at 6:00am, a Friday night football game, or a weekend trip out on the water to check for speeding jet skiers, I have never seen a law enforcement executive work as hard as Sheriff Hughes does. He truly leads from the front.
Sheriff Hughes made getting SRO’s into all of Craven Counties schools a priority when he was elected. In just 3 years he accomplished that goal and every public school in Craven County from Elementary to the Community College has a dedicated school resource officer position. One of the many things I respect about Sheriff Hughes is he doesn’t put just anyone into an SRO position. He wants to ensure each school has the best available to them and is extremely selective in hiring school resource officers. Due to his high expectations, we have a highly dedicated and hard-working team of school resources officers, as well as a fantastic leadership team for our unit.
When I started with Craven County, there had not been a D.A.R.E. program in over 15 years and they were looking to get the program started back up. We started planning for the kickoff of the D.A.R.E. program in early 2021, with just 2 certified D.A.R.E. Officers. By the 2021-2022 school year we had 5 D.A.R.E. Officers through hiring and training. We kicked off the program in 9 schools that year. We currently have 5 D.A.R.E. Officers, having lost 2 and trained 2 new. This past year we presented D.A.R.E. in 14 elementary schools. We have 3 more deputies attending a DOT this summer and will increase our number to 8. When we restarted the D.A.R.E. program in Craven County, we set a very high 5-year goal: Year 1-kickoff in as many schools as we could handle, Year 2 be in all the elementary schools, Year 3 present in the middle schools, Year 5 present in the high schools. Sheriff Hughes never questioned this goal and gave us the support needed to make it happen. Due to Sheriff Hughe’s unwavering support we have met the Year 1 and Year 2 goals, and are on track to meet the Year 3 goal as well.
Riley is a wonderful student who maintains the highest standards in both her personal and academic career. Riley has a love for basketball and her community. She is very active in her school, her church and her community. Riley has a personal story that has impacted her life that would make her a wonderful advocate for D.A.R.E. It is a story that I hope Riley gets the opportunity to share with everyone she meets.
Riley sets clearly-defined, high expectations for herself in all that she does. Her passion, creativity, expression and leadership has set her apart from any student I have had the privilege of instructing. Simply put, this young lady is beyond amazing.
With this being said, it is my enormous pleasure to nominate Ms. Riley Paige Elliott as the D.A.R.E. America Youth Advocacy Board representative from the great state of North Carolina.
Sergeant Roger Cook
I am excited to have this opportunity to nominate Sergeant Jason Detwiler as the N.C. D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year. Sgt. Detwiler has held a vital role in the restarting of the D.A.R.E. program in Craven County. He was the first D.A.R.E. Officer to come over to Craven County Sheriff’s Office and start putting things in place for the program. Sgt. Detwiler wears many hats within the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, D.A.R.E. Officer, School Resource Officer, Sergeant over School Resource Officers, SRT Team Leader, Honor Guard, and is even an assistant middle school wrestling coach. On top of all these things he does for the Sheriff’s Office and schools he is about to be a new dad.
Sgt. Detwiler helped create the vision and goals for the D.A.R.E. program in Craven County. We started planning for the kickoff of the D.A.R.E. program in early 2021, with just 2 certified D.A.R.E. Officers, we now have 5 officers and will have 8 after this summer's DOT. We set a very high 5-year goal: Year 1-kickoff in as many schools as we could handle, Year 2 be in all the elementary schools, Year 3 present in the middle schools, Year 5 present in the high schools. With the support of our entire D.A.R.E. Unit we have met our goals thus far and are on track to meet our ultimate 5-year goal.
These are just a few examples of the kind of collaboration I enjoy sharing with Erika Kennedy and the support she provides to me as a D.A.R.E. Officer.Another attribute that Ms. Kennedy possesses is her compassionate and caring nature. In many ways she teaches students through a service learning approach. She engages, educates, and inspires her students to "give back" to their communities through projectbased volunteer opportunities. I have seen her lead students in efforts to boost morale to military personnel serving overseas by preparing care packages for them, showing kindness to those in nursing facilities by making them cards with thoughtful messages, and many others. She also never misses an opportunity to encourage students to recognize those of us working in the public safety profession. I frequently receive cards, emails, and even "sweet treats" from her students thanking me for teaching them, as well as for my service as a law enforcement officer. This means the world to me! I am so grateful to Ms. Kennedy for instilling these positive character traits in her students.
Ms. Kennedy is energetic, funny, well-liked by students, as well as respected by her peers. Her love and compassion for young people is evident daily in her classroom and around the school. Ms. Kennedy doesn't just demonstrate her enthusiasm to help students perform well academically. I often see her attending youth activities in the community to show support not just for her current students, but also of ones from years past. Ms. Kennedy's students truly know she will always be there for them.
I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work alongside Ms. Kennedy through teaching our D.A.R.E. program. I am also proud to call her a true, genuine friend. I am honored and privileged to nominate Erika Kennedy for the N.C. D.A.R.E. Educator of the Year award.
Sgt. Chad Laws
Glen Mowery Executive of the Year
North Carolina D.A.R.E Officers Association
One of the biggest achievements for Sgt. Detwiler has been the implementation of the D.A.R.E. to Slime Fundraiser. Sgt. Detwiler got the idea from a fundraiser that took place in his assigned elementary school. The entire concept has been such a hit other agencies have asked him about starting something similar in their area. The D.A.R.E. to Slime Fundraiser has been turned into an annual event and, in the last 2 years has raised over $14,600 for the D.A.R.E. program.
Sgt. Detwiler remains a passionate and dedicated D.A.R.E. Officer. I can’t tell you how many times I have been out in public, in uniform, and get asked about “Officer Jason” as he is known to his students. He is respected and loved by the students in his school and in his D.A.R.E. classes, even though Sgt. Detwiler wears many hats. He never lets one fall or considers one less important than any other. He is the first to volunteer for any need that arises, and just as our Sheriff does, he leads from the front. I cannot imagine a more deserving candidate for North Carolina D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year.
Corporal Patricia Moore
NC D.A.R.E. Officer of Year
Throughout my years of teaching D.A.R.E I have had the privilege to instruct thousands of D.A.R.E. graduates. However, to come across a student that truly has the “gift” of standing out as an inspiration and a role model to their peers – that is rare.
At Davis-Townsend Elementary School in Lexington, NC I was blessed to meet such a wonderful young lady. Riley Paige Elliott epitomizes all the criteria and honor that is associated with being the representative of the great state of North Carolina to the D.A.R.E America Youth Advocacy Board.
I have had the pleasure of getting to know both Riley and her family from her days as my D.A.R.E. student and essay winner in the fifth grade to her freshman year at Central Davidson High School. Riley is a motivated and energetic young lady who has become a leader and inspiration to her peers as well as her community.
NC D.A.R.E. YOUTH ADVOCACY BOARD
N.C. D.A.R.E. Educator of the Year award.
Sheriff Hughes has encouraged us to come up with more ideas and ways we can support the youth in our community. Every crazy, large, time consuming, and slime filled idea we have brought to him, he has been on board 100%. We brought the idea of the D.A.R.E. to Slime fundraiser to him and he was on board from the start. Sheriff Hughes not only agreed to get slimed, but encouraged the other admin staff to join him. With his support and encouragement, we were able to raise over $6,600 for the Craven County D.A.R.E. Program the first year and raised just over $8,000 this year. We have now made the D.A.R.E. to Slime Event an annual fundraiser. When approached about the idea to start a D.A.R.E. summer camp, once again without hesitation Sheriff Hughes encouraged and supported the idea. We will begin our camp program this summer in Craven County and look forward to continuing and growing the camp in the years to come.
As stated by my fellow SRO and D.A.R.E. Officer, Corporal Dora Bullock, “Sheriff Hughes is all about building a better tomorrow with the youth of our community in mind. He is always willing to go the extra mile to show his support and belief in what D.A.R.E. represents. He truly believes in the sturdy foundation that this program provides for kids, and in the relationships that are built between law enforcement and children of all ages. Family is at the core of what D.A.R.E. America stands for, and Sheriff Hughes always tells his employees to put family first. I can't think of a better nominee for Executive of the Year than Sheriff Chip Hughes.” As an entire D.A.R.E. unit we are pleased to nominate Sheriff Chip Hughes for the Glen Mowery Executive of the Year.
Corporal Patricia Moore