UP CLOSE: Ben Frantz works on Prevention Team with Lake Placid students
LAKE PLACID — Long-time resident Ben Frantz has always been an active part of the Lake Placid community. Outdoor enthusiast, music lover, father and friend, he has always enjoyed supporting local youth.
Frantz’s roots start in New Canaan, Connecticut, a small town outside of New York City, and he has lived in Lake Placid for 27 years. Before discovering Lake Placid, Frantz worked for Eastern Mountain Sports and was sent here for a temporary job.
“I was supposed to come here for about three weeks, and I loved it here so much that I never left,” he said.
Frantz is a teacher for the Prevention Team, where he started working 24 years ago. He volunteered for 18 years with the program and has worked full-time in the schools for the past six years. The Prevention Team started in Ticonderoga.
“The idea was that our little organization would provide services to public schools in Essex County,” Frantz said, adding that the Prevention Team is not nationwide. “But there are similar programs to ours set up in different parts of New York state.”
Frantz, using the Prevention Team programming, works mostly at the Lake Placid’s elementary, middle and high schools and sometimes works in the Newcomb schools.
“We are our own little entity, teaching something called evidence-based programs,” Frantz said. “The goal of the program is to empower kids to decide how to make healthy choices for themselves and to give them the confidence to do that and to go out into the world, and to go anywhere, and say no to anything they don’t want to do.”
The Prevention Team works with all different ages for all different needs.
“I do something called prevention education with students ranging from first grade through 12th grade,” Frantz said.
Prevention education teaches students about the risks involving drugs, distracted driving and digital health.
Digital health is helping students understand healthy phone use, how to manage their screen time, and their digital footprint — how their choices today impact their growth and development.
Students learn how to be safe on the road by eliminating texting, alcohol and drugs. The drug use course focuses on where drugs are found and how students might be exposed. Frantz teaches ways to prevent drug use, reflecting on peer pressure, friends, and how our choices are all connected.