Essay winners stading with Deputy Russo and Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino.Fifth grade students at Berlin Elementary School celebrated the completion of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program conducted by Deputy Jeff Russo on June 5. Special guests included Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino and Rensselaer County Sheriff Patrick Russo.

Each student was asked to write an essay about what they learned and how the D.A.R.E. program can help them make safe, responsible choices. This year’s essay winners are Ashleigh Smerdon, Jake Collen and Hannah Jansen. Each 5th grader who completed the essay received a Certificate of Completion at graduation and a D.A.R.E. t-shirt. Congratulations to all our students and to Hannah Cerutti, McKenzie Krause and Lizzy Hunt who were all named D.A.R.E. Students of the Year.