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RAT PACK is BACK & Revue stirs memories of legendary entertainers. A-13 The Gazette ROCKVILLE | ASPEN HILL | WHEATON DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, September 25, 2013 25 cents Parents get an earful at drug abuse forum Grab your partner Principal: ‘It’s a parental issue’ n BY LINDSAY A. POWERS STAFF WRITER TOM FEDOR/THE GAZETTE Eva Murray of North Potomac calls the dances as she teaches the steps during the Village Swingers square dance club lessons Thursday at the Rockville Nursing Home. See story, Page A-3. Navy Yard shooting victim from Derwood buried John Roger Johnson remembered as kind, happy man with a powerful hug n Addressing her fellow Wootton High School parents, Rachel Boxman said Thursday evening in the school’s auditorium that drug abuse among teenagers is prevalent in the Wootton community and beyond — and demands their attention. “Please do not think it does not apply to you,” said Boxman, a volunteer with The Partnership at, a nonprofit, who once worked on pharmaceutical studies. “I’m telling you, it could be your kid. Great kids make bad choices.” The forum was the last of four mandatory parent meetings the school scheduled specifically to discuss drug abuse. While the majority of parents did not attend, Wootton Principal Michael Doran said about 500 parents total attended the four meetings, which he called “a good percentage” of parents who he felt would help spread the information. Judi Casey, vice president of the school’s PTSA, said the group’s desire to hold the meeting stemmed from concern about drug abuse at both the lo- cal and national levels. “We didn’t want to lose a kid for lack of trying and educating parents, so we decided to do this,” Casey said. The meetings wrapped up a few weeks before an Oct. 7 Montgomery County Public Schools forum on alcohol and drug abuse. It will be for parents and other county residents at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville. Wootton’s forum included a presentation from Boxman, who covered topics such as new and commonly used drugs. She urged parents to talk to their kids and other parents. “We need to talk to each other, we need to share our experiences and keep a dialogue going,” Boxman said. Boxman warned the parents that there is no “typical drug user” after sharing the stories of her two nephews who died from overdoses. “What you might consider typical teen behavior ... is actually very, very dangerous,” she said. Parents also must recognize the underlying issues of drug use, Boxman said. Teenagers are looking to fit in with a crowd, lose their inhibitions and escape problems, among other reasons, See FORUM, Page A-13 It’s a Blue Ribbon day for three area schools BY ST. JOHN BARNED-SMITH STAFF WRITER Those who knew him say John Roger Johnson, or “J.J.,” loved fishing, his family, and sweeping his friends into bonecrushing bearhugs. Friends and family gathered at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg to mourn Johnson, the patriarch of a brood of four daughters, 10 grandchildren and four stepchildren. The Derwood resident was one of two Montgomery County residents who died in the Navy Yard massacre on Sept. 16. Authorities say suspected gunman Aaron Alexis, a troubled Navy Reservist, entered the Washington, D.C., facility and began firing with a shotgun he bought from a store in Lorton, Va. On Tuesday, hundreds of funeral-goers gathered at a church off Rockville Pike to remember a generous, optimistic man who looked for the best in everybody. “He was the kindest, happiest man,” Bob Coyne, a longtime friend and fellow Honored awarded in Silver Spring, Rockville and Garrett Park n BY PEGGY MCEWAN STAFF WRITER DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE Friends and family of John Roger Johnson at a graveside service for him Tuesday at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring. Johnson was one of two Montgomery County residents killed in the Sept. 16 Navy Yard shootings. churchgoer, said after the service. Like many there, he recalled Johnson’s paternal nature and how he became accustomed to Johnson’s strong bearhugs. “Finally, I just said, you’re not going to be around [J.J.] without getting an anacondalike squeeze ... and I grew to love it,” he said. Johnson towered well SPORTS JUST THE RESULTS B-CC’s two-way football star doesn’t have the numbers, but has the results. B-1 Automotive Calendar Classified Community News Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please RECYCLE above 6 feet and, in the many photos that have circulated of him since his death, had a radiant smile. The family did not allow reporters to attend the funeral, but a video showing the homily during the service was later posted online. In his homily, Good Shepherd Pastor Dave Sonnenberg spoke of Johnson’s faith in God B-17 A-2 B-13 A-4 A-13 A-12 B-10 B-1 and in the world around him. “He saw goodness in other people ... when someone can acknowledge that, maybe people can live up to that.” Johnson’s son-in-law Tony Zagami and his grandson Dino eulogized Johnson, who would have turned 74 in October and who was about to celebrate the See SHOOTING, Page A-13 Three Montgomery County schools were named as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2013 on Tuesday. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that Robert Frost Middle School in Rockville, and two Catholic elementary schools, Holy Cross Catholic School in Garrett Park, and St. John the Evangelist School in Silver Spring, were among the 286 schools nationwide to receive the honor. Maryland had a total of 11 schools on the list released Tuesday. The National Blue Ribbon Schools award was founded in 1982. It honors schools where students perform at high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ levels of achievement, according to a statement from the Department of Education about the awards. “We hoped we would get it and worked very hard,” Sister Kathleen Lannak, IHM, principal of St. John the Evangelist, said Tuesday. “It’s a big honor and this morning, [after the announcement] we had a big celebration. We had an assembly and everybody got blue lollipops and we had a total school picture taken. It was pretty neat.” Lisa Maio Kane, principal of Holy Cross, said she, her faculty, staff and students have worked four years to be named a National Blue Ribbon School. “It was a personal goal for me and a goal for my school,” Kane said. To achieve the goal, she said, they introduced new read- See RIBBON, Page A-13 SPECIAL SECTION GAZETTE HEALTH Special Women’s Issue What would you do if you found out you had the ‘breast cancer gene’? One woman tells her story. Plus: why women lose their hair; the latest on the risks and benefits of aspirin; the value of vitamin D FALL HOME SERVICES INSIDE FOCUS ON LAWN & TREE SERVICES LOCAL JOBS INSIDE ADVERTISING INSIDE B SECTION 1906627

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