Officer Katelyn Overturf has taken over as the official D.A.R.E. officer in Ottumwa.

(Ottumwa, IA) – Ottumwa 5th graders have been seeing a new face in the classroom recently.

Katlyn Overturf is the newest D.A.R.E officer for the Ottumwa School District. She was previously a school resource officer at Evans Middle School, before taking on her new role. She says that her experience as an SRO will give her a good idea of how to best help her students.

“I see the challenges that kids go through once they hit that middle school age. They get exposed to more things that they’re probably not used to. So, I think teaching this at 5th grade has really helped them open up their eyes to what’s ahead,” said Overturf.

Overturf’s students are currently learning about the best ways for handling stress when going through an uncomfortable situation, which will be helpful as the kids get ready to head to middle school.

“They learn about peer pressure, they learn about responsible choices in the future, and the safeties and everything that come their way as they get older,” Overturf continued.

With her position, Overturf has the opportunity to make a personal connection with each of her students. She hopes that this early relationship will make students more comfortable around other officers in the future.

“I think it’s important to introduce the officers into the school because it makes them have more confidence in us, more trust in us. They can see that we are just like everybody else. We’re here to help them. I think, unfortunately, some kids get to experience us in a different light. This lets us come in with our own personalities, and show them that we are good people, and we’re here to help,” Overturf finished.

Overturf is spending the fall term at elementary schools on the north side of town. When her current set of students graduates from the D.A.R.E. program in December, she will move to schools on the south side of town.

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Copyright © 2021 D.A.R.E. America.
All Rights Reserved.