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Wayne Post
  • Police chief urges students to find their passion

  • Newark Police Chief David Christler told honorees at the seventh annual Academic Excellence Dinner Nov. 6 how important it is to be preparing in high school for a career they are passionate about.

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  • Newark Police Chief David Christler told honorees at the seventh annual Academic Excellence Dinner Nov. 6 how important it is to be preparing in high school for a career they are passionate about.
    The 1966 NHS graduate told the students being recognized in grades 10, 11, and 12 who earned an average of 90 or better during each quarter last year that since a job is something they will eventually do everyday, it is best to have one they really enjoy.
    “To have a fulfilling and successful career, you must have a passion for what you do,” Christler told guests assembled in the Newark High School cafeteria that had been festively decorated for fall. “It is often said, ‘A person in love with what he does will never work a day in their life,.’  If you have a passion for something, turn that passion into a labor of love.“           
    But he also cautioned that deciding on a career could be the hardest thing a student does in high school.
    “Finding your direction is the single most difficult thing you will do,” Christler said. “For me it didn’t happen overnight, but few things do. The objective is to find a match, strike your plan, and go for it.”
    In their quest to decide on a career, he told students it might be as simple as looking at their hobbies or consider what they like doing in their free time and then exploring careers that encompass those things that make them happy.
    “Career opportunities are endless so don’t be shy in asking your parents, friends, teachers or going online for help,” Christler said
    While his career path had its share of twists and turns, it initially was not his intent to pursue a career in law enforcement.
    A Newark native, Christler attended first through eighth grades at St. Michael’s School and then attended Newark High School. After graduating, he attended RIT, participating in an “Earn While You Learn” program. Taking courses at RIT half of each day, he spent the other half becoming a trained machinist at General Dynamics in Rochester.
    In college during the Vietnam War, he enlisted in the Army where he spent three years including a tour of duty in Vietnam and being in the Pathfinder program when he returned to Fort Benning.
    Ultimately it was his love for the outdoors, his military service and strong desire to help people that caused him to decide which educational path to follow.
    So he enrolled in the then Police Science program at Monroe Community College after he was discharged from the Army. He had planned to continue his education after MCC at SUNY Brockport, but received an appointment to the State Police Academy.
    What followed was a distinguished 32-year-career that culminated in 2005 when he retired as the Deputy Superintendent of the New York State Police — the third highest position in the law enforcement agency.
    Page 2 of 3 - Two years earlier, Christler received the United States Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Partnerships for Public Safety. Presented by then Attorney General John Ashcroft, the award was given in recognition of his work with the National Infrastructure Protection Committee Emergency Law Enforcement Sector.
    Christler, who wanted to continue in law enforcement work after his retirement from the State Police, has served as Chief of the Newark Police Department since 2008.
    He and his wife, Diane, who reside in Newark raised two daughters who attended and graduated from Newark High School. Amy is a graduate of Northeastern University’s Law School and currently is an attorney for the Social Security Administration while Lauren is studying abroad in Amsterdam through SUNY ESF in Syracuse as she completes her degree in Landscape Architecture.
    Christler also told honorees at the dinner it isn’t just knowing what you really want to do and getting a good education that enables a person to be a success.
    “Passion and education are only two of the many pieces to this puzzle,’’ he said, “Something we often overlook in life is how we are perceived by others, and how that impacts on our ability to succeed during school and beyond. More people than you will ever know will notice a strong work ethic developed early in your life. These same people will be writing letters of recommendation, reviewing your resume for appointment or looking at you for advancement. Always do your best work, be on time and be responsible. The right people will notice.”
    Christler said having a strong work ethic is key to developing a great reputation which is so important.
    “The characteristics that establish a person’s reputation are important to both their personal life as well as their professional life,’’ he said.
    He said components of a good reputation include being trustworthy, honest, demonstrating moral and ethical behavior; and finally being kind and compassionate.
    “You will find as you grow older how important being kind and compassionate is,’’ he said. “People that are kind have a much larger network of friends and are more satisfied in life. Always remember, friends are our most important resource. Be a good one.”
    Christler congratulated all the student honorees on their accomplishments and told them if they ever needed his help or for him to be a resource to assist them in planning for their future not to hesitate to call him.
    Dinner guests included Superintendent Henry Hann, NHS Principal Kevin Whitaker; Assistant Principal Nick Ganster; Board of Education President Yvonne MacTaggart and Board members Roberta Colacino, Susie Earl and Tom Ledbetter; teachers, students and other district staff attending and serving at the dinner affirmed Christler’s sentiments with hearty applause.
    After Christler spoke, Whitaker commended the NHS students on their academic achievements and also their parents, for the role they have played in their childrens’ success.
    Page 3 of 3 - Then he and Ganster presented students with certificates of recognition for their academic achievement. In all, 74 students met the academic requirements for the award, but not all were able to attend.
    A highlight of fall at NHS, the Academic Excellence Dinner not only recognizes academic achievement, but also reflects the hard work and generosity “of our co-workers at the High School for their time, talent and treasure,” said Kathleen Tanea, chair of the NHS Rewards and Incentives Committee that hosts the annual dinner.
    “This year our staff sponsored student dinners, made financial donations, helped decorate and serve,’’ she said.
    Danielle McGavisk, Elaine Esan, Jan Fellenz, Jean Bendix, Barb Mikler-Crandon, Mark DeYoung, Shane Surek and Nick Amatulli were the servers at the dinner.
    Students who had been recognized for two or more consecutive years at the Academic Awards dinner also received a winter sports pass that will allow them to attend all winter sporting events for free, Tanea said.
    Also, a student from each of the three grade levels being recognized, whose name was drawn, won a candy wreath made by NHS Reds Wagon Catering and Crafts.     
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