Maj. Bishop named LEAD instructor of the year

Major Sterling Bishop, left, was named Massachusetts’ LEAD Instructor of the Year.

Dukes County Sheriff’s Department Maj. Sterling Bishop was named the state’s LEAD Instructor of the Year at the fifth annual 21st Century Drug & Violence Prevention Training Conference and Summit on Feb. 24, according to a press release.

Throughout the school year, Bishop may be found across the Island in classrooms, gymnasiums, and playgrounds, running the Law Enforcement Against Drugs (LEAD) program. Currently in Tisbury, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown elementary schools, LEAD is an evidence-based program which emphasizes social and emotional learning through fun and interactive lessons, aiming to build the self-confidence young people need to make healthy choices and achieve success. It is not uncommon to spot sixth grade students leaping, running, jumping, and smiling as Bishop guides them through the many activities of the 10-week curriculum, building skills in the areas of goal-setting, decisionmaking, effective communication, anger management, media literacy, social and emotional competency, and pro-social bonding.

“This program not only provides me the opportunity to have a proactive approach to the substance use problem that is negatively affecting the youth in our community; it helps to build the necessary life skills for our kids to grow into successful adults.” Bishop said in the release.

“Major Bishop epitomizes an innovative and progressive approach to public safety and drug use prevention as a talented educator and resource to students, in and out of the classroom,” Sheriff Robert Ogden said in the release. “I am very proud of Sterling and his accomplishments, in particular his development of the LEAD program on the Island, greatly advancing drug prevention in the Martha’s Vineyard school system. I could not think of anyone more deserving of this award.”