Guest speaker, Mr. Michael Mauro, Operations Supervisor for the Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford, visited Shawnee Freshman Health classes as a part of the #NotEvenOnce Program. A 2009 Cherokee graduate, Mr. Mauro shared his experiences with addiction and how his recovery led him to his current position.
The #NotEvenOnce Program was implemented at the start of the 2017 – 2018 school year as a collaborative effort between The Medford Township Police Department and Shawnee High School’s Student Assistance Counselor Matthew Catinella, Health and Physical Education Teacher Amy Johnston, and School Resource Officer Officer Robert Carbone. The partnership between law enforcement and educators has the goal of instructing students about the dangers of opiates before they graduate. The relevance of this program to our students is important to reduce the number of addiction and overdoses in our community. After implementing the program to seniors during the 2017-2018 school year, surveys and discussions from students highlighted a strong opinion of a need to start the program with younger grades. The program was expanded at the start of the 2018-2019 school year to include freshmen so they can learn about the progression of drug addiction and its’ effects on friends and family.