- Why do you care so much about preventing drug and alcohol use among Dover-Sherborn teens?
We know so much now about how important it is to get teens to delay alcohol use. We also know that these are very different and dangerous times with drug use. The connection between teen substance use and the road to opioid addiction is real. Preventing this during the teen years is a gift that we give our kids that can potentially have a lifetime payoff.
- What would you say is the most important thing that we, as parents, can do to help prevent our children from underage drinking and using drugs?
Hold the line around alcohol/drug use. Set your limits, have the conversations and enforce the consequences. This may mean calling homes where they are going, this may mean they don’t go to certain parties and this may mean social changes with friends. They (and you!) will survive this and in the end will be better off. This is hard work and can feel lonely; but again, it is a gift.
- What is one message you would give to DS students if you could really get their attention?
It may feel like “everyone” drinks — but we know that not everyone does. Your choice to delay your use of alcohol is a smart one and you are not alone.
Own it and be proud of it.
- What is your reason for staying involved in SPAN-DS?
This is how prevention truly works. You have all stakeholders involved and they are all on the same page. SPAN-DS is a model for community prevention. Their work has a focus that is balanced, well thought out and sustaining. The messages and work are visible all year long — not just a one-time event. This is critical.
I have been involved in SPAN-DS since coming to work here at Dover Sherborn High School (DSHS). SPAN-DS is a great committed group to work with. I graduated from Dedham High School, ’83 and I hold a bachelor’s degrees in health/wellness and special education. I also hold master of education degrees in curriculum/instruction and school leadership. I spent 26 years in the Norwood Public Schools. I worked at literally every level K-12 during my tenure in Norwood. I was an educator, department chair and then Dean of Student’s at Norwood High. I have a strong prevention background and believe in the power of community and prevention. It is a powerful combination. I have been in my current position as Assistant Headmaster at DSHS for two years. I made the jump into administration after hearing about an opening at DSHS. After becoming a finalist and meeting the students, faculty and community, I knew it was going to be a great move. I am truly honored to work here.