Old Mill Elementary School fifth grade educator Michele Grey whole heartedly believes in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.
Grey’s work with students has garnered her the honor of 2017’s Kentucky D.A.R.E. Association Teacher of the Year.
She was nominated by Mt. Washington Police Dept. Sgt. Becky Franklin.
“I love all the teachers I work with, but I really feel that Ms. Grey has put forth extra effort the last couple of years, especially with the essays,” Franklin said. “She also works hard to make sure that each student graduates from the DARE program, by making sure everything is complete.”
For the last two years, Old Mill has had 100% graduation from the program.
“Ms. Grey also wants students to be prepared for middle school, as well as what happens outside of school,” Franklin said. “She really cares about her students. I enjoy working with her each year, and I hope to get to do so for many years to come.”
Grey attended the Law Enforcement in Schools Conference, which encompassed the entire state of Kentucky, over the summer in Richmond where the award was presented.
“I have found great pleasure in working with an age group that can be creative and accepting of new ideas,” she said.
“Each year, we use the D.A.R.E essay as a platform to release the creative skills that the students have and to showcase what they have learned throughout the program,” Grey explained. “Having been part of the D.A.R.E program at both Old Mill Elementary and Shepherdsville Elementary, it has given me a unique perspective into how socio-economic diversity requires a different approach to reach the students with the image the D.A.R.E program portrays.”
Grey said students are open to various opinions and accept the ideas presented by D.A.R.E and Officer Franklin.
“Together, we are able to inform and instruct the students in the art of making lifelong decisions that affect their well-being and health,” she said. “Being able to help the students make informed choices that affect family and friends as well as themselves by utilizing coping skills that help to de-escalate situations has always been a rewarding part of the year.”
To finalize the D.A.R.E. experience, Old Mill students are offered a sense of completion as they graduate from the program during a formal ceremony where parents and community leaders are invited to attend.
“The memories and the experiences are shared at the end of year send-off which the students remember for years to come,” Grey said.
She hopes to continue her position of being an advocate for students and guiding them toward their middle school years with the information that the D.A.R.E program has to offer and being part of making lasting impressions that help guide students to be successful and integral parts of the community.