Flood Brook Teacher Recognized
Advocates from across the state attended Prevention Awareness Day at the State House on January 26 to spread the word about how communities benefit from the work of the 24 substance abuse prevention coalitions in Vermont. The annual event is organized by Prevention Works! VT, which works to decrease tobacco use, drug use, underage drinking and high-risk drinking, especially among youth and young adults.
Mark Weikert, physical education teacher at Flood Brook School in Londonderry, received a Prevention Champion Award during the event, which recognizes and celebrates the achievements of those working on drug abuse prevention in Vermont. Mark notes, “This is not just an award for me but for our whole mountain community where we all work together to create a well-rounded and healthy environment for our youth.” Weikert is an advocate for substance abuse prevention and whole-child wellness. He works closely with The Collaborative, a substance abuse prevention organization, to ensure the risks and harms of drug and alcohol prevention are heard by youth and families throughout the community. Maryann Morris, executive director at The Collaborative, stated, “To do effective work on substance abuse prevention, we rely upon community partners to spread the message about the risks and harms of use and to encourage young people to refuse to use drugs, alcohol and tobacco and make healthy choices. Mark is the epitome of a great community partner. He is a great role model and advocate for our kids and community.”
In Weikert’s acceptance speech, he said, “On a daily basis I am hearing first hand accounts from students of the confusing messages they are receiving about drug use. Kids are inherently good and want to make healthy choices but when their role models are not clear on the issue or down play the harms, it causes doubt. I strongly urge us all to think hard about the marijuana issue and its effects on the future generations of Vermont.” Mark is currently the President of Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE VT), serves on the Governor’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council and is an active member of The Collaborative. He encourages people young and old to make healthy life choices.