Mark Moglia, the chief of school police at the Delaware Valley School District Police Department, was awarded “Pennsylvania Instructor of the Year” by L.E.A.D. (Law Enforcement Against Drugs & Violence), a nationwide nonprofit that works with communities to help students understand the dangers of drugs and violence. He was honored for his outstanding work instructing kids during the school day.
“Chief Moglia truly deserves this award, and we congratulate him on a great job educating kids in Delaware Valley about harmful substances, such as drugs and alcohol, and why steering clear of them is vital,” said Nick DeMauro, CEO of L.E.A.D. “We’re confident that Chief Moglia’s instruction is helping us to accomplish our goal of strengthening police-community relationships as he’s allowing students to take away crucial life skills with them as they learn how to set goals, manage their emotions and make good decisions, in addition to learning about the dangers of drugs and violence.”
Moglia has been teaching the organization’s “Too Good for Drugs” and “Too Good for Violence” programs for about 13 years to ninth graders at Delaware Valley High School, but L.E.A.D. was only implemented throughout the entire district of Delaware Valley two years ago, due to a grant and assistance from DeMauro. Now, every school police officer at the Delaware Valley School District Police Department is certified to teach the program, and they’re doing just that in the elementary and middle schools in Delaware Valley.
The program is admirable for various reasons, Moglia said, but he especially enjoys the involvement with the students.
“While educating the kids on such an important subject matter, I get to know them on a personal level. Throughout the 10 weeks, it’s incredibly rewarding to notice them becoming more comfortable opening up to me and asking for advice,” he said. “By developing a rapport with the students, they’re more inclined to trust me as I guide them to make wise decisions. Every day, the kids are bombarded with pressure to become involved with drinking, smoking and vaping, but my relationships with them are certainly helpful when they face these situations.”
Moglia incorporates stories into the curriculum to make his instruction more relatable for the students.
“People close to me have had problems with drugs and alcohol, and I’ve shared how that’s had an impact on my life with the kids,” he said. “The students who are having problems in their own households really resonate with this story, and I’ve worked with these kids more directly to give them strategies to help them deal with their struggles. It’s my goal that the bonds I’ve created and continue to develop with the students will allow our police department and the community in Delaware Valley to conquer the issue of drugs, alcohol and violence together.”
For more information on L.E.A.D., please visit www.leadrugs.org