By Ryn Gargulinski
Pilot staff writer
Longtime educator Bette Moore said using a fried egg to depict a brain on drugs just doesn't cut it.
"It's more complex than that," she said, and she is going to bring some of her acute understanding of that complexity and others to her new post.
Recently named the South Coast Community Resource Center's countywide prevention educator and coordinator to administer drug and alcohol program to school-aged students, Moore certainly holds a hefty title.
And hefty duties to go with it.
Part of her educator duties will be visiting schools throughout the county Brookings, Gold Beach, Port Orford and teaching the students about the dangers of underage alcohol and drug abuse.
"It's a passion for me. Looking at at risk' children over the years, I want to be part of the solution in any way I can."
Moore points out that the adolescent brain is still developing up to age 25 and, the earlier one clouds it up with alcohol and drugs, the higher the chances are of the brain not developing to its full potential.
"We have to stress to the young people we're working with not to just say no,' but why it's important to say no."
The focus will be elementary schools, she said, where the problem can be nipped in the bud before it even becomes one.
She could go on, of course, as she said the more she learns about the brain, the more she wants to share the information and use it to help others.
"I'm not a brain scientist. I am an educator who thinks the brain is fascinating," she said. "
The coordinator portion of her new duties will include networking with various agencies throughout the county for a common solution.
"We'll address ways we can all come together around the issue," Moore said, adding one of her most recent meetings was with Crime Stoppers and others will soon follow.
"(Each agency) is one little piece of the puzzle," Moore said. "I see myself as hoping to put all the puzzle pieces together to make the picture clear."
Moore's 30 years teaching school in Southern California, working as an elementary school counselor, a heavy background and training in drug and alcohol programs all add to the litany of experience she brings to her post.
Her founding of the Upper Chetco Charter School last year didn't hurt, either. "It seems to be a natural progression of what I did at Upper Chetco," she said of her new position.
"I got an opportunity to bring in an alternative educational program that addresses the huge variety of learning styles and differences in human brains," she said.
"Upper Chetco is living on. This is just a nice transition into taking some of the thinking into the whole county."