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Before the 2013-14 school year ended, Bloomsdale Elementary School fifth-graders graduated from the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program of the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Jeff McCarty worked with Nanya Gegg’s class; Deputy Stephanie Memhardt, with Janel Reiss’; and Corporal Richard Placke, with Jennifer Kirchner’s. Besides that trio from the sheriff’s office, Sheriff Gary Stolzer, Major Jason Schott and School Resource Officer Christina Clark attended the graduation. McCarty, Memhardt and Placke visited the school for several weeks, teaching students to make informed decisions about what they put in their systems.

Speaking at the graduation were Dr. Julie Flieg — previously the principal of Ste. Genevieve Middle School, now the assistant superintendent of the Ste. Genevieve R-II School District — and Ste. Genevieve High School junior-to-be Abbie Stolzer. The pair told the students of their life experiences and how to succeed in the future; they also explained family, friends, teachers, staff, community leaders and others will help students through their lives.

For the program, the fifth-graders vied in an essay contest, with winners subsequently chosen from each class. The winners (bottom photo, from left) read their writings at the graduation: Kirkland Cofer, Danielle Pinkley, Emma Johns, Boston Williams, Brooke Turner, Holly D’Amico, Blake Dallas, Sierra Baker and Tyson Parker.

Immediately after the graduation, attendees enjoyed refreshments in the school cafeteria.

From Ste. Genevieve Herald

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