(From left) John Staszewski, Deputy Stacey J. Bussie, Josye Kaczinski, Jill Davisson and Dennis Starling proclaimed Kaczinski, 12, of Charlotte, as junior sheriff for the day for her first place D.A.R.E. essay.

The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

CLINTON — A Northeast grade school student was proclaimed junior sheriff for the day during Monday’s meeting of the Clinton County Board of Supervisors.

Clinton County Sheriff’s Deputy Stacey J. Bussie presented the D.A.R.E. program’s first-place essay winner, Josye Kaczinski, 12, of Charlotte, to the board. Bussie, who is the sheriff’s office’s full-time D.A.R.E. officer, goes through the process every year of selecting the top essay from each of the 12 schools he teaches. From these essays, first, second, third and fourth place winners are chosen. Bussie visits 30 classrooms and this year will of worked with 700 students.

Bussie reported to the board the changes D.A.R.E. has seen since he began working with the program more than 10 years ago. Initially the program focused completely on drug abuse resistance. Now, the program has expanded to teach students how to handle bullying and will expand to Internet safety. Bussie said the drug program has also shifted focus to highlight prescription drug abuse, which has recently become more prevalent among teenagers. He said no matter what changes the program has seen, he feels D.A.R.E. remains an important program.

“If you look at the D.A.R.E. program the way I’ve always looked at it, if your life is a thousand piece puzzle, D.A.R.E. is one of the pieces,” said Bussie. He said the program is taught in 75 percent of all classrooms across the nation and in 43 different countries.

After making his comments to the board, Bussie had Kaczinski read her essay. In the essay, Kaczinski gave D.A.R.E., which initially stood for Drug Abuse Resistance Education and has recently been referred to as Define Assess Respond Evaluate as the program expanded, her own meaning. She wrote she likes to refer to D.A.R.E. as Decisions Are Right Every time. Her essay highlighted what she learned from the program and how the knowledge would be applied to her life as she grows.

The board congratulated Kaczinski after she finished her essay.

“It’s good to see a program that works. It’s good to see the response for getting through to the young people. When I was your age, I didn’t have the pressures on me that you have on you growing up. And so I really commend all of the young people, especially your age, in getting involved in the D.A.R.E. program,“ said Chairman Dennis Starling.

Kaczinski spent Monday at the Sheriff’s Office and even sat at Sheriff Rick Lincoln’s desk. The board approved a formal proclamation naming Kaczinski as junior sheriff for the day. Formal resolutions were also approved proclaiming Megan Slattery as second-place winner, Sierra Winey as third-place winner and Elizabeth McClimon as fourth-place winner.

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