Altamahaw-Ossippee Elementary School 5th grade teacher Erika Kennedy has been named the North Carolina D.A.R.E. Educator of the Year. In a surprise ceremony Tuesday morning May 30th, A-O principal Erin Millspaugh, ACSO D.A.R.E. Instructor Sgt. Chad Laws, and Sheriff Terry Johnson made the announcement in Ms. Kennedy’s classroom.

Sgt. Chad Laws made the nomination to the North Carolina D.A.R.E. Officers Association. Ms. Kennedy will receive the award at the NCDOA’s conference in Atlantic Beach, N.C. on June 15, 2023.

Ms. Kennedy began her teaching career at A-O Elementary 19 years ago after moving to the area from New York. At this morning’s ceremony, she was presented with a certificate, an Alamance County Sheriff’s Office Challenge Coin, an ACSO cup, along with flowers and balloons. The 5th graders showed their excitement with shouts and applause for Ms. Kennedy.

D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. The focus is on assisting students in developing basic fundamental skills needed for making safe and responsible choices.

Lesson topics include: the harmful effects of alcohol and tobacco products, risk and consequences, peer pressure, dealing with stressful situations, communication confidently and effective listening, how to safely report bullying, helping others to demonstrate being a good citizen, and assisting students in outlining their own person help networks.

Congratulations Ms. Kennedy!

(L-R) Sheriff Terry Johnson, Sgt. Chad Laws, Ms. Erika Kennedy, Principal Erin Millspaugh
(L-R) Sheriff Terry Johnson, Ms. Erika Kennedy, Principal Erin Millspaugh
(L-R) Sgt. Chad Laws, Ms. Erika Kennedy, Principal Erin Millspaugh, Sheriff Terry Johnson