DARE essay winner Beau Epperly receives his prizes from Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Deputy KJ Miller as fellow winner Jacob McDonald looks on during an end-of-the-year picnic held last week.

It took a while, but DARE students graduate

Sheriff’s deputy, St. Joe’s teachers get creative to hold ceremony for grads

If you had asked DARE instructor Sheriff’s Deputy KJ Miller four months ago what her plans for DARE graduation were, she would have told you they included a ceremony at St. Joseph Community School at the end of April, at the latest early May, and with the friends and family of her sixth grade DARE class there watching. 

But like many graduations across the US and the world, they had to get a little creative when plans changed and the program and ceremony were shut down due to COVID-19, along with many other meaningful milestones and memories for schools. 

Memories like time spent with friends and teachers for Beau Epperly, whose family is moving away this summer, or having a chance to teach a few more in-person classes with their fifth and sixth-grade students for resigning teachers Amy Kloberdanz and Susie Klunder. And milestones, like the annual St. Joes end-of-the-year picnic.

Or the DARE graduation ceremony, after finishing up the remaining two lessons. 

So last week at the park, with restrictions loosening, Kloberdanz and Klunder arranged a picnic with their fifth- and sixth-grade students to make up for lost time and especially some of these missed milestones and memories.

— For more on this story, see the June 16 Tribune

New Hampton Tribune

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