A married couple with three children in elementary school, Melanie and Darrin McGuire, have been named to the Ridgefield Prevention Council, which fights drug and alcohol abuse.

“They come as a team,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said, introducing the couple to the Board of Selectmen at a Jan. 3 interview.

“There are a lot of things popping up now, that kids are facing, that we didn’t have to face,” Darrin McGuire said.

The McGuires said they hoped to reach out to fellow elementary school parents, as a couple, and get them involved.

“We could go out to our other couple friends and say, ‘This is something we’re doing,’” Melanie McGuire said.

Part of their message would be that elementary school is the time for parents to start becoming aware and involved, since problems involving drugs and alcohol often start in middle school.

“That does tend to creep younger and younger,” Darrin McGuire said.

“The average age of experimentation nationally is just under 12 years old,” Marconi said. “And it’s true here, as well.”

They’ve already gotten involved in the issue.

“We’ve been to two Prevention Council meetings and also the HVCASA meeting,” Melanie McGuire told the selectmen, referring to the regional Housatonic Valley Coalition Against Substance Abuse.

Darrin McGuire is vice president of orthopaedic solutions for North America with Sectra AB, a Swedish company in the medical imaging field.

Melanie McGuire is self-employed massage therapist with a specialty in pediatric massage.

— Macklin Reid