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The members of the Nodaway County D.A.R.E. board include, front: Nate Rice, Marla Finney, Melissa Grace, Ken Grove; back: Marilyn Jenkins, Victor West, Randy Strong and Rick Smail. Not pictured: Rita Carroll, Robert Rice, Bill Meiners and Jason McDowell. There are a few members who have not been appointed yet.

The Nodaway County Sheriff’s Department re-instated the county’s D.A.R.E. board which met on February 6.

Officer Rick Smail retired from Maryville Public Safety this winter and was hired to lead the county wide D.A.R.E. program.

The board was abolished eight years ago, freezing the program’s monetary assets within the county budget. The start of the new board allowed the $5,000 to be accessed. Smail purchased approximately $1,700 in books and supplies needed for teaching.

There will be a representative from each school district on the county D.A.R.E. board. The members include Maryville representative Nate Rice, Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office Administrator Marla Finney, West Nodaway teacher Melissa Grace, Northeast Nodaway Principal Ken Grove, Nodaway County and D.A.R.E. board treasurer Marilyn Jenkins, North Nodaway teacher Victor West, Nodaway County Sheriff Randy Strong, Nodaway County D.A.R.E. Officer Rick Smail, Nodaway-Holt Principal Rita Carroll, Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rice, Jefferson teacher Bill Meiners and Northeast Nodaway Assistant Principal Jason McDowell. There are a few members who have not been appointed yet.

“I’m excited to get this opportunity going. It is neat to be a part of it in the beginning stages,” Northeast Nodaway Principal Ken Grove stated.

Smail began teaching this week at West Nodaway, North Nodaway, South Nodaway and Northeast Nodaway.

For the remainder of the current school year, he plans to focus on the sixth grade level. Beginning at the start of the next school year, he will be implementing a K-8 program. He plans to visit two schools each day and has left parts of Monday and Thursday open to address any school resource officer issues that arise in the school community.

“I think we are going to a great place in the schools. It’s time the county schools get what the Maryville schools get,” Smail said.

The board adopted the bylaws that were previously used by the Nodaway County D.A.R.E. board which had been copied from the Maryville D.A.R.E. board bylaws with two changes. It was agreed to change the treasurer position to a permanent appointment as long as that person serves on the board. The group also changed the meeting times, choosing the first Monday of each month at 6 pm at the county’s administration building. All meetings will be open to the public.

The Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office will provide a Dodge Charger for Smail’s transportation and will pay all maintenance fees. The car will be outfitted with D.A.R.E. decals and reflective striping for a total of $800 which was paid for by the D.A.R.E. funds. This is the first time a vehicle has been specifically marked as a D.A.R.E. vehicle.

“It’s one of the things I campaigned on and wanted to go into the schools,” Nodaway County Sheriff Randy Strong said. “Nodaway County school children are fortunate to have Rick Smail as their DARE instructor and school resource officer. Everyone involved is very excited to get this program. We are ahead of schedule and I’m very pleased.”

In other business, the Maryville Optimist Club donated $250 and The Student Body will donate all of the T-shirts for the D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony in the spring.

Because not all board members were present, the board tabled the election of officers.

Other functions of the board include approving purchases, approving the D.A.R.E. graduation celebration activities and prizes and helping with graduations and fundraisers.

As of now, the county D.A.R.E. program will hold its fundraisers separately from Maryville’s. Smail stated he is in negotiations about merging with the Maryville program in hopes that the annual fundraisers could be combined, resulting in shared resources.

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