Sgt. Carl Rye, supervising school resource officer for Charles County Public Schools, recently received the Sam Walker Lifetime Achievement Award and was named as the Maryland D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Officer of the Year for 2012 by the Maryland D.A.R.E. Officers Association (MDOA).
The annual award recognizes an MDOA member who demonstrates dedication and commitment to the D.A.R.E. program, the schools in which they serve and the local community. Rye was nominated for the award for his commitment to expanding the D.A.R.E. program in Charles County Public Schools and for his dedication to ensuring children are successful.
Rye said he is honored to receive an award that recognizes his efforts to make a difference in the lives of children. "It is an honor to be nominated and recognized by my peers for this award. I have been involved with the D.A.R.E. program for more than 20 years in Charles County and I am dedicated to serving the children in our community," Rye said.
The D.A.R.E. program is taught to sixth-grade students and is designed to help them recognize and resist the pressures that influence them to experiment with alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. The program is available through Charles County Public Schools' partnership with the Charles County Sheriff's Office. Rye has been an officer with the Charles County Sheriff's Office for the past 26 years and started to teach the D.A.R.E. program in Charles County middle schools in 1991.
In 2001, Rye was assigned to work with the school resource officer program and was promoted to Sergeant and supervising officer for the southern region of Charles County. Rye shares supervisory duties with Sgt. Mike Vaughn, who oversees the northern region of Charles County. Vaughn nominated Rye and said Rye is an integral part of the D.A.R.E. program and school resource unit in Charles County.
"Sgt. Carl Rye has been at the forefront of the D.A.R.E. program for nearly two decades in Charles County. The program has grown from a few part-time instructors to a 16-officer unit of sworn, certified D.A.R.E. officers assigned to all schools in Charles County. As a result, we are delivering D.A.R.E. to thousands of children each year. He has been a trailblazer for D.A.R.E. in Charles County and without his dedication and hard work, the program would not be what it is today," Vaughn wrote in an award nomination letter.
Rye also coordinates the Summer Youth Program and participates in the Juvenile Drug and Teen Court programs. Additionally, he helps coordinate activities for the "We Care" Teen Safe Driving Program in Charles County's six public high schools. Vaughn said Rye is well-known among the community as an advocate for children.
"Many of the younger officers in our department, as well as citizens throughout Charles County, speak fondly of their first interaction with the police and 'their' D.A.R.E. officer, Sgt. Carl Rye. His commitment to providing children with the tools to succeed and make positive life choices is evident in all that he does," Vaughn said.
Rye received the award during the MDOA annual conference held earlier this month. As the state honoree, he is eligible for the National D.A.R.E. Officers Association (NDOA) national award. Nominations for the state award are reviewed by a panel consisting of former recipients. For more information on the D.A.R.E. program, visit http://www.dpscs.state.md.us/aboutdpscs/pct/ccpi/dare/index.shtml.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technological advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Keith Hettel, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.