Change of Leadership at D.A.R.E. America

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Charlie J. Parsons, President and Chief Executive Officer of D.A.R.E. America, announced that he will retire December 31, 2012. The D.A.R.E. America Board of Directors’ named Francisco “Frank” X. Pegueros as the successor to Mr. Parsons.

D.A.R.E. America President and CEO Charlie J. Parsons announces retirement. D.A.R.E. America Board of Directors appoints new President & CEO.

Charlie J. Parsons, President and Chief Executive Officer of D.A.R.E. America, announced that he will retire December 31, 2012. Parsons joined D.A.R. E. America in 1996 as Executive Director & Chief Operations Officer and has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since March, 2005. He joined D.A.R.E. in 1996, following a distinguished 27 year career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Under his leadership D.A.R.E. America has expanded its mission, embarked upon many groundbreaking initiatives, established a wide network of meaningful partnerships and expanded its international footprint.

“It has been an extraordinary pleasure to have had the opportunity to serve with D.A.R.E. We have accomplished a lot in recent years and the course has been set for continued progress,” said Parsons.

While with the FBI, Mr. Parsons served in a number of prestigious training, field and management positions. From 1991 until joining D.A.R.E., he was in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division, where he spearheaded successful efforts to reduce bank robberies and violent street gang activities. The Los Angeles Division is the Bureau’s second largest, with more than 1,000 staff serving a population of 19 million in seven Southern California counties.

“Charlie has set a vision for D.A.R.E.’s future that will thrive far beyond his tenure,” said Louis “Skip” Miller, Chairman of the D.A.R.E. America Board of Director’s.

On November 14, 2012 the Board of Directors’ named Francisco “Frank” X. Pegueros as the successor to Mr. Parsons. Mr. Pegueros’ association with D.A.R.E. began in 1984 while serving with the Los Angeles Police Department. Pegueros joined D.A.R.E. America in 1997 and presently holds the position of Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer. Mr. Pegueros has provided leadership for many of D.A.R.E. America’s recent achievements such as partnership with The Pennsylvania State University for the creation of the new D.A.R.E. keepin’ it REAL curriculums, conference of consultative status by the United Nations, and the creation of curricular components addressing Rx/OTC abuse, internet safety and cyber security.

“For nearly thirty years D.A.R.E. has been a major part of my life, not one day has passed that I have not been thankful for the association. The students, D.A.R.E. officers and D.A.R.E. America staff make serving D.A.R.E. a pleasure. I look forward to contributing to the future accomplishments of the organization,” said Pegueros.

Francisco X. Pegueros is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development. He has been conferred with Bachelor of Science and MPA degrees by that institution.

Mr. Pegueros was selected as recipient of the initial Los Angeles Police Department William H. Parker Foundation Fellowship and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy.

Skip Miller said, “Charlie and Frank have worked together as a team for years, each has provided D.A.R.E. America with exemplary leadership. Under their direction, D.A.R.E. America has achieved extraordinary accomplishments and they have set the stage for D.A.R.E. to have a bright future. The Board is grateful for all that Charlie has given and is appreciative to have Frank assume the leadership of D.A.R.E. America.”

On November 14, 2012, the Board of D.A.R.E. America also voted Mr. Thomas Hazelton, President of Development, D.A.R.E. America, to serve upon the Board of Directors.

About D.A.R.E. America

This year millions of school children around the world will benefit from D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), the highly acclaimed program that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence. D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and has proven so successful that it is now being implemented in 75 percent of our nation's school districts and in more than 47 countries around the world. D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives.

D.A.R.E. America and The Pennsylvania State University have partnered for the adoption of keepin’ it REAL (kiR) as the D.A.R.E. elementary and middle school curriculums. kiR was developed over 20-years by researchers at Penn State and Arizona State Universities with funding provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). kiR is an innovative, culturally grounded, multicultural curriculum that teaches youth the skills they need to refuse drug offers and involvement in other high-risk behaviors. The skills (Refuse, Explain, Avoid, Leave) prepare students to act decisively, confidently, and comfortably by teaching them how to say no in difficult situations. Students also learn how to recognize risk, value their perceptions and feelings, and make choices that support their values.

The D.A.R.E. kiR research team is led by Dr, Michael Hecht, Distinguished Professor, Penn State University Department of Communication Arts and Sciences faculty, and Dr. Michelle Miller-Day, Professor of Communication Studies, Chapman University. The kiR curriculum has received significant critical acknowledgment. kiR is designated as a model substance abuse prevention education program on the SAMSHA National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). The California Healthy Kids Resource Center, administered for the California Department of Education and the California Department of Public Health identifies kiR as a research validated program. The National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University and Communities In Schools, Inc. recognizes kiR as an Exemplary Program. A recent cost effectiveness study, conducted by the U.S, Department of Justice, ranked kiR among the top 3 prevention programs with a cost benefit ratio of 2 ($28 in benefits for every $1 spent). kiR received the 2010 Penn State Award for Community Engagement and Scholarship

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Francisco Pegueros
D.A.R.E. America
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