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Metra Announces Student Winners of its Sixth Annual Safety Contest

(September 14, 2012) - 
Metra has announced the winners of its annual Safety Contest, designed to promote and reinforce railroad safety to keep children safe around trains. This year’s campaign drew record numbers with more than 5,500 students from nearly 250 schools throughout the region participating. (A full list of 2011-2012 contest winners can be found at the end of this release). 
Each year, Metra’s Safety Contest invites students in grades K-12 throughout its six-county service area to submit poster and essay entries highlighting the importance of railroad safety. This year’s contest theme was “Lead the Way: Look, Listen and Live.” Tasked with selecting the winners were a panel of 20 judges, including government officials, representatives from safety and education advocacy groups, business and community leaders, members of the media and Metra representatives. Additionally, more than 550 members of the public participated in the Safety Poster Contest “People’s Choice Award” voting via the Internet.
“Nothing is more important to Metra than keeping children – and the public – safe,” said Alex Clifford, Metra CEO. “I would like to commend each and every person who participated in the safety campaign for their leadership on this issue.”
The first-place poster designs will be printed and distributed to more than 2,000 schools in northeast Illinois. The posters will also be featured in station displays, in Metra’s 2012 safety calendar, on monthly tickets and on Metra’s contest website and Facebook page. Winning safety essays will also be featured in the safety calendar, the Metra contest website and Facebook page as well as in additional safety materials. The posters will also be displayed at the White Sox game vs. the Cleveland Indians on Sept. 26 at U.S. Cellular Field.
First-, second- and third-place winners were chosen from each grade level for the Metra Safety Poster Contest. One winner from each grade group – elementary school, middle school and high school – was chosen for the Safety Essay Contest. First-place poster and essay contest winners receive an iPad, while second- and third-place poster contest winners receive $250 and $100 gift cards, respectively. The “People’s Choice Award” winner receives a $250 gift card. Metra also recognizes the school with the most entries submitted in the poster contest. The top participating school also receives a computer.
The annual contest would not be possible without the support of its sponsors, whose generous contributions have helped Metra defray the costs of the contest prizes as well as the production of the safety posters. This year’s contest sponsors include the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and Hubbard Radio Group, owners of Chicago radio stations 97.1 FM The Drive, 100.3 Chicago’s Rewind and 101.9 The Mix..
To date, campaign outreach efforts include the distribution of more than 300,000 safety posters, 10,000 Metra Safety Calendars and more than two million pencil kits to schools throughout the region. The organization also operates a Facebook page and a website, available in both English and Spanish, to educate students and reinforce safety rules. The website has garnered millions of hits and the Facebook page interacts with hundreds of students, teachers and parents on a day-to-day basis.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure safety is foremost when people are on or around trains,” Clifford said. “We could not be more proud of the role the poster and essay contest has played as the cornerstone of our campaign to raise the level of awareness about train safety throughout northeast Illinois.”
Information about the campaign, along with all of the Safety Contest winners, is available at and
Metra congratulates this year’s winners.
The following students were chosen as the 2011-2012 Safety Poster Contest’s first-place winners:
Manya Davis, Kindergarten, White Eagle Elementary School
Yebin Park, First Grade, Lyon School / The Art School in Glenview
Alyssa Meza, Second Grade, Winnebago Elementary School
Olivia Ho, Third Grade, West School / The Art School in Glenview
Paola Arenas, Fourth Grade, Durkin Park Elementary School
Ethan Chen, Fifth Grade, Copeland Manor School
Jasmine Meza, Sixth Grade, Marquart Middle School
Kate Lee, Seventh Grade, Christian Heritage Academy
Maria Guadalupe Garcia Eustaquio, Eighth Grade, Algonquin Middle School
Zhaoyuan Pan, Ninth Grade, Neuqua Valley High School
Joshua Moy, Tenth Grade, Deerfield High School
Austin Matthew Walker, Eleventh Grade, Joliet Central High School
Camille Westfall, Twelfth Grade, Crystal Lake Central High School
The following students were chosen as the 2011-2012 Safety Poster Contest’s second-place winners:
  • Jessica Pomain, Kindergarten, Coventry Elementary School
  • Emma Levy, First Grade, Grand Prairie Elementary School
  • Paulius Gustys, Second Grade, Hazelgreen Elementary School
  • Joshua Hyatt, Third Grade, Robert Clow Elementary School
  • Benjamin Turner, Fourth Grade, Ludwig School
  • Veronica Buchweitz, Fifth Grade, Lake in the Hills Elementary School
  • Christian Lee, Sixth Grade, Christian Heritage Academy
  • Danielle Murawski, Seventh Grade, Jack Hille Middle School
  • Alexandra Lithgow, Eighth Grade, Clarendon Hills Middle School
  • Jihee Yoon, Ninth Grade, James B. Conant High School
  • Elise Bowler, Tenth Grade, Victor J. Andrew High School
  • Stephanie Salmen, Eleventh Grade, Beecher High School
  • Ashley Miyagawa Twelfth Grade, Lincoln-Way East High School
The following students were chosen as the 2011-2012 Safety Poster Contest’s third-place winners:
  • Cora Garling, Kindergarten, Charles T. Wegner Elementary School
  • Atiksh Shah, First Grade, Hanover Highland Elementary School
  • Emily Wang, Second Grade, Holmes Primary School
  • Manav Davis, Third Grade, White Eagle Elementary School
  • Gia Stramaglia, Fourth Grade, Ludwig School
  • Emily Buerk, Fifth Grade, Field School
  • Lauren Trail, Sixth Grade, McClure Junior High School
  • Emily Valade, Seventh Grade, Hannah Beardsley Middle School
  • Rachael Kennedy, Eighth Grade, Peacock Middle School
  • Jina Jang, Ninth Grade, James B. Conant High School
  • Reynaldo Rodriguez, Tenth Grade, Proviso West High School
  • Danny Caplice, Eleventh Grade, Lyons Township High School
  • Chelsea Grochocki, Twelfth Grade,  Crystal Lake Central High School
The following student was chosen as the Safety Poster Contest’s “People’s Choice Award” winner:
  • Joshua Moy, Tenth Grade, Deerfield High School
The following school submitted the most entries in the Safety Poster Contest:
  • Robert Crown Elementary School, Wauconda
The following students were chosen as the Safety Essay Contest’s first-place winners:
  • Emma Forman, Fourth Grade, Winston Campus Elementary School
  • Victoria Tu, Eighth Grade, Wood Oaks Junior High School
  • Madeline Warland, 9th Grade, Homeschooled
Please note: Photos of the event are available through Metra’s Media Relations office. Please call 312-322-6491 to request images.
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