Officer Lisa Page, Wahpeton Police Department, serves as Wahpeton Public School District’s Resource Officer (RO). Resource officers are the individuals inside schools to ensure everyone’s safety. Resource officers are not only inside schools for disciplinary actions, but also there to reward good behavior and help those in need.

Page, students and others will tell you, does everything she can for the students. This month, she held the D.A.R.E. program for students. D.A.R.E. stands for the “Drug Abuse Resistance” program. It informs students how drugs and violence are not the answer, and provides prevention tactics. This program also gives resources to students who need them.

Wahpeton held their D.A.R.E. graduation at 1:45 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15. Principal Jacob Dodge welcomed everyone with an introduction before passing it on to Officer Page to announce the essay winners. There were four essay winners of the D.A.R.E. program, one winner from each class.

“I had to sit back and realize we can only do one winner per class,” Page said, “I could have picked 10 or more easily.”

Dinah Hinrichs, Adalyn Webster, Hadley Tayer and Peyton Erickson were the essay winners. All four girls received a certificate and a stuffed toy lion sporting a D.A.R.E. shirt. Each individual girl was called up and was asked to read their essays for the auditorium. All of the students sitting were respectful and cheering their classmates on during this time.

“D.A.R.E. is something I remember my sister and I doing in fifth grade,” Page said, “My sister still has her lion from graduating the program even. I ended up buying the ‘old school’ lions for this year’s graduation.”

After the essay readers were finished and everyone took their seats, Wahpeton Police Chief Matthew Anderson, Page and Dodge awarded the entire fifth grade class with awards and shaking hands. Once everyone was awarded, Anderson, Page and Dodge made closing speeches and announced the 2023 sponsors for the program.

Supporters attending included Wahpeton Superintendent Michael Kaiser, Dodge and several teachers.

Sponsors for the fifth grade D.A.R.E. program and graduation are Wahpeton Public Schools, Southeast Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 6 and Pinewood Kennels.

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