Q&A: California transplant ready to get started

Lillian Bowe: Staff photo LeAnn King, the county’s new DWI prevention specialist, looks over material she will be teaching to elementary, junior high and high school students. King will work with the Portales School District  as well as Elida, Floyd and Dora.

Lillian Bowe: Staff photo
LeAnn King, the county’s new DWI prevention specialist, looks over material she will be teaching to elementary, junior high and high school students. King will work with the Portales School District as well as Elida, Floyd and Dora.

By Lillian Bowe

Staff writer

lbowe@pntonline.com

A recent California transplant, LeAnn King was working with her horses when she received a call about a job opening for a DWI prevention specialist.

The call came from Rikki Seat, Roosevelt County DWI Program coordinator.

“She asked if I could come down to the office for an interview immediately. So dressed in my work clothes with my son in tow I went to the interview,” said King, who was hired for the job.

“What we wanted was someone who had passion and (King) had that passion to work,” Seat said.

King, who has been in Portales two months, said she saw that the job would have her working with many different grade levels, which she had experience with as a substitute teacher.

What does your new job entail?
We want to teach prevention of drugs and alcohol to the schools by using curriculum that has been used by Mother Against Drunk Driving and other organizations that have been shown to work. We really want to teach prevention at an early age. We plan to teach student from grades first through 12th. I will really have to work with the school to find a time where I can come in and teach prevention to the kids. Teachers use to teach prevention, but lately they don’t have time, because of the testing and many other obstacles, so I will be here to teach them.

What do you hope teach the students?
One of the problems I have seen is that kids always say they have nothing to do. Therefore, they go out and drink, because it is something to do. For the amount of time I have been here, there are plenty of activities to do for kids of all ages. I want to empower them to stand up and not to do drugs and alcohol and become contributing members of society. I also want to work with other organization around the community and maybe get more things going for the kids.

What is your objective for the first year?
I know the first year will be developing a relationship with the administration and the teachers. I have to find a time to be able to teach prevention to the students that will work with the teachers. We will have to schedule times and work together to teach prevention to the students.

How have you liked Portales so far?
It has been a little different for me, but I went to Lubbock for a day and I wanted to leave and come back to Portales. I like the small town, and where I am from it’s agriculture base, so it’s not that different. We have been so busy the amount of time I have been here, but the community is so welcoming.