March 17, 2008

Stacey Hart
877-SADD-INC (toll-free)

Students Against Destructive Decisions Chooses
Kansas Teenager to Represent Organization Nationally

Marlborough, MA –SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), the national school-based peer-to-peer prevention education organization, today announced that Stephen Winkler of Seneca, Kan., has been named 2008-2009 SADD National Student of the Year. Winkler will be the national student spokesperson for the organization, which has more than 10,000 chapters and hundreds of thousands of active participants in schools nationwide.

“I’m excited about the chance to make a difference and influence teens across the nation to make better life choices,” Winkler said. “I believe in SADD’s mission, and I hope to accomplish as much as possible within the next year.”

A senior at Nemaha Valley High School, Winkler has been a dedicated SADD student for the last four years and has been very involved with the organization at the local, state, and national levels. He currently serves as a member of the 2007-2008 SADD National Student Leadership Council.

“Stephen has been an exceptional spokesperson for SADD, working tirelessly to ensure that teens are fully aware of the perils of underage drinking and other drug use,” said Penny Wells, president and executive director of SADD. “Being chosen SADD National Student of the Year is a great honor and a natural progression for him. We are confident he will thrive as a leader, an educator, and an important voice and advocate for teens nationwide.”

Student of the Year responsibilities include publicly addressing issues affecting teens, serving a one-year term on the SADD National Board of Directors, and leading 12 extraordinary youth leaders who comprise the SADD National Student Leadership Council (SLC). The SLC advises the SADD National Board of Directors on policies and programs, plans and implements the SADD annual national conference, and serves as a national and regional student representation network. Winkler will begin his term as the SADD National Student of the Year during SADD’s annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona, in June. An event will be held in Seneca this spring to introduce Winkler as the new SADD National Student of the Year. Details of the event will be announced at a later date.

Winkler is on the executive committee of his SADD chapter, and he is an active member of the Kansas SADD Student Leadership Council, which is sponsored by the Kansas Family Partnership. He has served as a trainer for the Kansas Youth Leadership Summit, and he has helped coordinate the Kansas Red Ribbon Training and Kansas SADD Leadership Conference. In 2007, Winkler received the esteemed Nemaha Valley High School Leadership Award for his involvement with SADD at the local, state, and national levels. He also works as business manager on his school’s yearbook, is a member of the National Honor Society, has been involved with forensics as a state competitor, and serves as a youth mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

“Being selected as the SADD National Student of the Year is a great honor, one that is well deserved and brings great pride to our state and local organizations that have worked so hard to educate teens about responsible decision-making,” said Maria Torrez Anderson, SADD’s Kansas State Coordinator.

SADD is a national student-based organization with chapters in thousands of middle schools, high schools, and colleges across the country. Its mission is to provide students with prevention education tools to effectively address issues such as underage drinking, other drug use, impaired driving, teen violence, and suicide. More information about SADD can be found at


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