5th-grade Runnels students complete DARE program _lowres

Photo provided by Allison Wrenn -- Essay winners Jonathan Harper, Thanh Kirsch, Michaella DeSimone and Emma Collett, from left, attend the D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony for Runnels fifth-grade students on Jan. 6.

A graduation and recognition ceremony honoring the Runnels School fifth-grade class for completing the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was held in the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre on Jan. 6.

The ceremony was led by Capt. Randy Aguillard, of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, who has been the DARE instructor at Runnels for more than 20 years.

During the program, Emma Collett, Micky DeSimone, Jonathan Harper and Thanh Kirsch were announced as DARE essay contest winners. The students read their essays onstage and received a DARE pin and certificate from Aguillard.

The DARE program helps students recognize the consequences of drug use and provides practice in developing techniques for resisting peer pressure to use illegal substances, a news release said.