Coconut Creek Police Department Honors Do The Right Thing Award Recipients
Maryssa Altschuler with her family at the Do The Right Thing Awards ceremony {Coconut Creek Police}

By Bryan Boggiano

The Coconut Creek Police Department honored the first round of Do The Right Thing Award recipients at their first award ceremony of the 2023/2024 school year on Sept. 28.

Five students and one teacher received accolades for making a difference in the community.

The Do The Right Thing Awards ceremony included remarks from the department and prerecorded comments from elected officials, including Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, Rep. Jared Moskowitz, and State Rep. Christine Hunschofsky.

Dezriana White

A Coconut Creek High School sophomore, Officer George Vassilakas, nominated White after she anonymously reported a threat somebody made about a school shooting.

“She saw something, and she said something,” said Dr. Nicole Nearor, Coconut Creek High School principal.

While police and school administrators determined the threat was unfounded, they stated any threat, whether credible or not, is serious and would be met with accountability. Nearor explained making threats like these could put somebody in jail until they turn 21.

Nearor ended her remarks by thanking White for taking action when her community needed her.

Coconut Creek Police Department Honors Do The Right Thing Award Recipients
Dezriana White, alongside her family and principal, Dr. Nicole Nearor {Coconut Creek Police}

Diana Dakmak

A Monarch High School junior, educator Kalebra Jacobs-Reed, nominated Dakmak for her persistence in the face of adversity.

Dakmak’s father passed away over a year ago. She left school to live with her family in Lebanon. After returning to the United States, it took Dakmak five months to be able to return to Monarch.

Since returning, she took several online catches to catch up on her missed work. Dakmak also took on a leadership role in the French Honor Society and worked with the theater design team.

Coconut Creek Police Department Honors Do The Right Thing Award Recipients
Diana Dakmak at the Do The Right Thing awards with her family {Coconut Creek Police}

Maryssa Altschuler

The Lyons Creek Middle School eighth-grader was recognized for her volunteerism and school involvement.

Altschuler volunteered at Providence Children’s Academy Preschool’s pre-camp during her summer vacation. She also volunteers at Mary Help of Christians in Parkland, where she assists in creating car signs and name badges and collecting supplies.

Altschuler’s volunteer work also includes collecting backpacks for homeless youth and feeding homeless individuals.

Aside from her volunteer work, Altschuler is also a member of her school’s National Honor Society.

Coconut Creek Police Department Honors Do The Right Thing Award Recipients
Maryssa Altschuler with her family at the Do The Right Thing Awards ceremony {Coconut Creek Police}

Tylin Frazier

The Coconut Creek Elementary School fourth grader received recognition for helping others. His teacher, Jessica Johnson, nominated him.

In the nomination form, Johnson wrote, “Tylin serves as a wonderful peer leader, not only for his classmates but to the entire school as a whole.”

As a safety patrol, Johnson noted Frazier is always there to help his classmates and peers. They include his two younger sisters, one of whom attends the school.

Coconut Creek Police Department Honors Do The Right Thing Award Recipients
Tylin Frazier with his family at the Do The Right Thing Awards ceremony {Coconut Creek Police}

Andrew Phelps

The Coconut Creek Elementary School fifth grader received recognition for his helpfulness and consideration of others.

Phelps’s teacher, Mariko Craig, nominated him for the award. In the nomination paperwork, Craig describes Phelps as the kindest student she has met in her 23 years of teaching.

Craig states Phelps is the first to help a classmate with a scraped knee on the playground and cheer them up if they are feeling down.

As a safety patrol, she states Phelps helps kids find their way to class and reach their rides smoothly at dismissal.

Coconut Creek Police Department Honors Do The Right Thing Award Recipients
Andrew Phelps with his family at the Do The Right Thing Awards ceremony {Coconut Creek Police}

Kristen Collins

Nominated by Monarch High School Assistant Principal Stacey Weaver, Collins is the school’s first Do The Right Thing teacher of the month.

At the beginning of the school year, Collins noticed one student originally from another country had a hard time making friends.

Through her research, Collins found two other students from the same country and got them together in the same room to get to know each other.

When they left the room, they had each other’s phone numbers and plans to hang out.

Coconut Creek Police Department Honors Do The Right Thing Award Recipients
Kristen Collins with her family and colleagues at the Do The Right Thing Awards {Coconut Creek Police}

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Coconut Creek Police Honors Do The Right Thing Award Recipients 1
Bryan Boggiano
A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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