As their names were called, the 180 graduates walked across the Municipal Auditorium stage shaking hands with presenters and receiving diplomas and other awards.
“What I Learned from DARE” was the subject of essays the pupils wrote. A first-place winner was selected from each school. They were Damiquin Minor from Park Ridge, Amanda Jordan from Bakerfield and Carl Thomas from Baker Heights.
Words of encouragement and congratulations were heard from Mayor Harold Rideau, Police Chief Mike “Snapper” Knaps, Superintendent of Schools Ulysses Joseph, among others.
Police Sgt. Jason Doyle directs the Baker DARE program.
The Baker High School Marching Band played, Baker Middle School girls lead cheers, the Baker Cadet Steppers delivered the DARE Stomp and "Darren the Lion" made an appearance to dance with the graduates.
DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and consists of a series of classroom lessons led by a police officer. It is an international program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs and violence and to lead productive lives.