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School Notes: South Royalton Students Hope to Influence Teens

  • South Royalton School students watch their classmate Ellen Manby, a senior, play the part of Kendra, a pop star who is addicted to cocaine, during a tech rehearsal for the Jerome McDonough play Addict. (Valley News - Sarah Priestap)

    South Royalton School students watch their classmate Ellen Manby, a senior, play the part of Kendra, a pop star who is addicted to cocaine, during a tech rehearsal for the Jerome McDonough play Addict. (Valley News - Sarah Priestap) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Senior Damon Fulcher reads his lines and mimes bench pressing 250 pounds while playing Bart, a high school student who uses steroids, during the tech rehearsal for Addict. (Valley News - Sarah Priestap)  

    Senior Damon Fulcher reads his lines and mimes bench pressing 250 pounds while playing Bart, a high school student who uses steroids, during the tech rehearsal for Addict. (Valley News - Sarah Priestap)  Purchase photo reprints »

  • South Royalton School students watch their classmate Ellen Manby, a senior, play the part of Kendra, a pop star who is addicted to cocaine, during a tech rehearsal for the Jerome McDonough play Addict. (Valley News - Sarah Priestap)
  • Senior Damon Fulcher reads his lines and mimes bench pressing 250 pounds while playing Bart, a high school student who uses steroids, during the tech rehearsal for Addict. (Valley News - Sarah Priestap)  

When it comes to steering their peers away from drug abuse, the members of South Royalton School’s chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and the school’s student council know that some messages are more effective than others.

In performing Addict, Jerome McDonough’s play about the far-reaching and sometimes fatal effects of drug abuse in a dozen very different lives, the South Royalton students think they’ve found a formula for educating classmates about the dangers of illegal drugs, as well as influencing younger students who may face pressure to use drugs in coming years.

“By showing it to the younger people, it’ll show them what the effects are, not just on themselves, but on the people around them,” said South Royalton junior Rebecca Paige.

The 21 members of the South Royalton student council and SADD, the groups sponsoring this presentation of Addict, feel the message behind it is so important that they’ll perform it three times tomorrow: at 9 a.m. for middle and high school classes at South Royalton, at 12:30 p.m. for students from surrounding schools, and at 8 p.m. for the public. All three performances are free.

This production of Addict comes as the South Royalton community has learned the consequences of drug abuse the hard way. In the last year and a half there have been overdoses and shootings in the community traced back to the use of drugs.

“We just seem to hear more and more about teenage situations, kids who are getting involved in substance (abuse),” said Louise Barreda, a longtime English teacher at South Royalton who is directing Addict. To warn students about the dangers of drug use, South Royalton has brought in speakers who have combated addiction. “We feel that theater is another way, another voice to talk to kids,” Barreda said.

Among the actors in Addict there are varying views about the level of drug abuse among their peers. “I know plenty of people who are involved in drugs. I don’t know anyone who’s a heroin addict, but definitely kids who could go down that path,” said senior Damon Fulcher.

For a while, it seemed to senior James Puopolo that the wave of drug abuse around South Royalton had died down, “but it’s starting to come back,” he said. Presenting Addict “more than anything is a preventative measure,” he said.

The subject matter of Addict is too mature for an elementary school audience, but appropriate for middle and high school students, and the actors in Addict hope they can drive home the consequences of using dangerous drugs. There is a concern among the actors, Fulcher said, that seeing the play “will benefit more the kids who aren’t doing drugs than the kids who are.” Yet he remains confident that Addict’s message can resonate with their peers, whether or not they’re currently using drugs.

“If we reach out to one or two kids, it’ll be a success,” he said.

Events

Mascoma Cooperative Preschool in Enfield will hold an open house and registration night on Feb. 12 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Parents will be able to meet teachers and take a tour of the school. For more information, visit www.mascomacooperativepreschool.org, or call 603-632-5655.

∎ The MusicLink Foundation, an organization that provides free or low-cost music lessons to promising students, will hold its annual Playathon concert on Feb. 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m at Lebanon United Methodist Church. Area students who participate in MusicLink classes will collect pledges to purchase music equipment as they perform music throughout the day.

Deans’ Lists

Note: All dean’s list announcements pertain to work completed in the fall 2012 semester.

At Becker College, Rachel Welling of Charlestown.

∎ Butler University, Katie Currier of Norwich.

∎ Cornell University, Katherine Bruce of Grantham and Christian Dauphinais of White River Junction.

∎ At Endicott College, Sarah Robinson of Norwich. Robinson was also named a member of Lambda Pi Eta, an honor society for communications studies students.

∎ At Florida Institute of Technology, Ashlee Fish of Windsor.

∎ At Georgia Institute of Technology, Elijah Dufty of Norwich.

∎ At Keene State College: Alec P. Antonioni of Claremont, Abbie L. Boisvert of Lebanon, Allison M. Boisvert of New London, Julia A. Brenker of Newport, Makenzie L. Callahan of Windsor, James Carroll of Lebanon, Marc P. Coleman of Claremont, Sarah R. Croitoru of Hanover, Natasha G. English of Lebanon, Danielle N. Field of Grantham, Hannah G. Gage of Lebanon, Amy L. Gallagher of Newport, Joseph S. Gallo of New London, Anna K. Grallert of Claremont, Kelsey H. Hardy of Meriden, Jennifer L. Herman of Charlestown, Aaron B. Hibbard of Orford, Jessica L. Hoh of Hanover, Brooks H. Hubbard of Enfield, Sarah M. Huff of Newport, Gregory J. Hulse of Lebanon, Jessica A. Jodoin of Hanover, Brendan T. Kelly of Enfield, Neil M. Kelly of Grantham, Elizabeth S. King of Newport, Katie O. Knox of Windsor, Natalie M. Kocurek of Grafton, Adrienne M. Krulis of New London, Alexandra M. Lague of Sunapee, Kathryn E. LaVigne of Newport, Nicole L. Lillie of Newport, Emily R. Lloyd of North Haverhill, Cara L. Logerfo of Charlestown, Elizabeth J.S. Masure of Charlestown, Krystyna M. Melahn of Lebanon, Alexandra E. Morley of Windsor, Aaron N. Mullen of Wilder, Chelsea E. Ordway of Grantham, Katherine F. Pilvelait of Charlestown, Nicholas J. Roy of Claremont, Roland K. Rumrill of Charlestown, Megan L. Scott of Charlestown, Chelsea K. Slogic of New London, Arthur J. Smith of Claremont, Darcy R. Stebbins of Lebanon, Christina V. Thatcher of Claremont, Cory S. Valentine of Lebanon, Dylan F. Vandemark of Charlestown, Hannah E. Walker of North Haverhill, Nikki M. White of Cornish, and Ryan M. Wilson of New London.

∎ At Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, Colleen Taylor of Lebanon.

∎ At Western New England University, Hannah M. Berling of Charlestown was named to the President’s List for the fall semester, having received a grade-point average of 3.8 or greater. Also, Marissa L. Findholt of White River Junction, Daniel A. Hopkins of South Royalton, Megan B. Jason of Hartland and Zebulon T. Swenson of Newport were named to the dean’s list, with a GPA of 3.3 or greater.

Graduations

Sarah Nemeth of Norwich graduated from Drury University with a bachelor’s degree in history, magna cum laude.

School Notes appears each Tuesday. Email school news and announcements to kbryan@vnews.com.