Pubdate: Tue, 29 Apr 2003
Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette (WI)
Copyright: 2003 Green Bay Press-Gazette
Author: Kelley Bruss
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


Usually, Brown County Sheriff's deputy Kevin Vanden Heuvel is the one
throwing the party.

He holds graduation ceremonies, complete with treats and decorations, for
students who complete DARE training - Drug Abuse Resistance Education.

But Monday, fifth-graders at Lincoln Elementary in Green Bay turned the
tables. The officer was greeted around 1:45 p.m. with balloons, squealing
party horns and bear hugs.

Vanden Heuvel learned Friday he was named Wisconsin's 2002 DARE Officer of
the Year. On Monday, some of his students wanted to celebrate with him.

When the room finally quieted, Vanden Heuvel, balloon bouquet in hand, spoke

"Hey, this doesn't mean you're getting out of class today," he said, then

Lincoln students said there's no doubt about what Vanden Heuvel wants them
to learn.

"He teaches us not to use drugs and to smoke," said Gilberto Bravo, 11.

But his lessons go beyond the basics.

Anna Kortens, 11, said "Officer Van" will do whatever it takes to get kids'
attention and drive home points.

"He'll do funny dances or cheers, as long as it teaches us," she said.

Vanden Heuvel has gone above and beyond since he started at Lincoln in 1995,
fifth-grade teacher Linda Jolly said. He often comes early and spends time
with the students at recess or helps with homework.

"We just wanted you to know how proud we are," she told him. "We're 100
percent behind you."

Vanden Heuvel is one of three Brown County DARE officers.

Together, the three annually serve about 3,000 fifth-graders in more than 50

Vanden Heuvel will be honored at a June banquet when the Wisconsin DARE
Officers Association meets here.

He and his wife then get to travel to Atlantic City, N.J., for the national
association meeting.

"Hopefully I'll meet Donald Trump while I'm there," Vanden Heuvel said. "I'
ll ask him for a donation for DARE."
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