DARE essay contest winners receive their awards from DARE officers Allen Danko and Rogelio A. Navarro at graduation ceremonies Tuesday evening at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center in Winona Lake. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union.
DARE essay contest winners receive their awards from DARE officers Allen Danko and Rogelio A. Navarro at graduation ceremonies Tuesday evening at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center in Winona Lake. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union.
WINONA LAKE – The Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center was packed Tuesday evening with sixth-graders graduating the Warsaw Police Department DARE program and their families.

The hundreds of students represented all eight Warsaw Community Schools elementary schools and Sacred Heart School.

The night of ceremony and entertainment started with the Fort Wayne Pipe and Drum Corp presenting the colors and WPD officer Brad Keller singing the national anthem.

Then the first act of the night came out – a human contortionist. Other members of the cirque troop came out throughout the evening event to display acrobatics and feats of skill.

Guest speaker was Josh Schmucker, who discussed his 20-year battle with alcoholism.

A big part of the night were the awards. The Officers Choice Award goes to students who have showed high self-esteem, who have made good choices and who work hard to make good choices and be positive.

Award recipients included Nataly DeLeon, Addison Whitaker, Jaylynn Allison, Kourtney Jaworski, Anna Robertson, Grant Horton, Cameron Mason, Taryn Enoche, Abbie Mark, Emma Landrum, Jailynn Evans, Tanner Drang, Taylor Drang, Ashlyn Borkholder, Madeline Caskeu, Alexis Miller, Josh Prater, Meribeth Rahn, James Leiter, Cohen Heady, Rory Heckaman, Angel Maldonado, Nick Reed, Chayla Wuchter, Allison Hooten, Avery Kintzel, Robinson Hoffert, Kennedy Webber, Jose Torres, Elise Watson, Brooke Aleman, Ally Anderson, Josue Montoya, Julia Uplinger, Adan Rodriguez, Lillian Chaney, Ava Couture, Izzie Jackson, Wyatt Stapleton, Aadya Arora, Aislyn Elliott, Jordance Jamison, Michaela Plummer, Jamison Burnworth, Courtney Lowery, Dalton McNees, Mia Jones, Josiah Rice, Kyle Williams, Oliver Nisen, Sydney King, Lauren Wallen, Abby Nicholas, Angela Rico, Jazmin Justice, Koresin Smith, Makia Lucas, Carter Escapule.

DARE essay winners were Austin Burnworth, Callen O’Brien, Carson Chizum, Claudia Gonzalez, Dylan Applegate, Ellie Schenck, Emma Van Puffelen, Emmanuel Valencia, Gracie Fritz, Jayla Goings, Jayla Simone Tong, Jillian Glaze, JoAnna Silveus, Julia Williamson, Kaytlin Snodgrass, Lilbeth Rico, Lilliana Valencia, Lucy Ray, Lucy Wilkinson, Macy Moore, Paisley Clark and Teagan Alley.

Every year a student goes above and beyond their regular duties. These students show high self-esteem, make good choices and help in a positive way. The Student of the Year awards went to Olivia Martinez, Sacred Heart School; Mia Jones, Jefferson Elementary; Josiah Rice, Claypool; Kyler Polston, Lincoln; Isaac Newsome, Eisenhower; Brooklyn Nibert, Leesburg; Isaac Loane, Washington; and Chole Ellenwood, Madison.