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Deputy Brian Ruckstuhl is this year’s Larry R. Cox D.A.R.E Officer of the Year (WNWO).

TONTOGANY, Ohio (WNWO) — “I love doing what I’m doing. I love coming here to Otsego. Couldn’t imagine being anywhere else,” said Deputy Brian Ruckstuhl, Otsego Local School’s D.A.R.E resource officer.

Deputy Brian Ruckstuhl has been teaching D.A.R.E classes at Otsego Local Schools for 6 years.

His classes educate students about drug abuse resistance and the importance of teamwork and building one another up.

But, he is so much more than a teacher…

“So much is just communicating and making sure that the trust level is there and the kids know that they could come to me for anything that they have going on,” Deputy Ruckstuhl said.

That’s why he was just recognized as the Larry R. Cox D.A.R.E Officer of the Year, an award given to only one school resource officer in the entire state, who shows passion and commitment for their responsibility and community.

His strong and genuine relationships with each of his students was another factor when it came to his recognition.

Kevin O’Shea, Otsego High School principal said, “To see the kids every year when they come up and we do things like today freshman orientation to see how excited they are to see Deputy Brian back and just the positive relationship they have with him. It’s so awesome to have another person in our building who’s there for our kids.”

Deputy Ruckstuhl had no idea that he was even nominated, until the school’s superintendent, Adam Koch, presented him with the award.

For Koch and the rest of the staff, it was an obvious choice.

“He puts in the time. He goes to everything. He’s always at community events. He just does whatever it takes for our kids and makes sure they’re safe,” superintendent Adam Koch explained.

The Otsego staff feels more than thankful for Deputy Ruckstuhl, but he says he can’t do what he does, without them.

“Every class, every teacher welcomes me to come into their classroom and I can’t thank them enough for letting me come in because without their cooperation, I can’t do what I do,” the deputy said.

From NBC 24 News

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Copyright 2019 D.A.R.E. All Rights Reserved.