Pastor Max Olmstead, The Dover Church

SPAN-DS Faces Pastor Max Olmstead v-5


1. Why do you care so much about preventing drug and alcohol use among Dover-Sherborn teens?

Our teens have so much going for them. They can have a wonderful, fulfilling life if they make smart choices and think about where they see themselves in the future. Becoming addicted can happen to anyone and I don’t want to see that happen to any of our teens. Drugs and alcohol are a matter of life and death. I want our teens to have choices and being addicted, or even an occasional user, can take choice away from them.


2. 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?

It is very important for parents to get to know their children’s friends in an authentic way and also the parents of their children’s friends. Make sure your family shares similar values of what is acceptable with the people your children are around. Parents can make the mistake of downplaying the consequences of underage drinking or using drugs. Parents should work towards a relationship of trust where children can come to their parents for help without worrying they will be rejected. Finally, parents should model the behavior they expect from their children too.


3. What is one message you would give to DS students if you could really get their attention?

No one feels good having a secret or having a part of their life that they hide. I want our students to work towards a life where they are authentic. I want our students to understand that when alcohol and drugs become a part of their life, their control can be diminished and therefore their life is not as authentic as it could be.


4. What is your reason for staying involved in SPAN-DS?

I enjoy getting to know the teens in our community, through church, youth group, cub scouts, and volunteering at the schools. I am so impressed with D-S youth and I value building a relationship with them. I want all the D-S youth to know that I have an open door policy and I will always help someone in need. I have seen the consequences of people becoming habitual users of drugs and alcohol. Watching people lose everything important to them is very sad and I want our youth to know that life is substantially more important and enjoyable without drugs and alcohol in it.



Before coming to Dover in 2009 I was serving three other churches in New England, specifically Connecticut. My wife and I were looking to move closer to our family and friends in the Boston area. When the position became available at The Dover Church we investigated the school system and the community for our family. Our two boys were quite young back then. We loved the idea of living close to Boston but in a countryside community with fabulous schools

Prior to being a pastor I had been an academic, studying and teaching medieval Scandinavian subjects: Vikings, Icelandic sagas, Norse mythology, Swedish language, that sort of thing. In my spare time, I like to do things with my family, fish and tie flies for trout and stripers, hike, and walk our dog.

I have been involved with SPAN- DS from the time we moved here until now. The program was just beginning about 7 years ago and I began by attending meeting and talking with the parents who were starting the SPAN- DS parent group. I love Dover-Sherborn and hope to be here for a long time!



SPAN-DS seeks to prevent and decrease substance abuse in our communities, especially among youth. To that end we help build networks among parents, students, and other individuals that will:
  • Heighten awareness
  • Promote responsible behaviors
  • Encourage strong support systems


If you would like to make a donation, you may write a check payable to SPAN-DS and mail it to PO Box 40, Dover, MA 02030 or pay with your credit card via the donation link below. SPAN-DS is a 501c3 organization and donations are tax deductible in accordance with applicable laws.
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