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Safety contest winners announced

(May 7, 2018) - 

The votes have been tallied and Metra today announced the news that school-age children across the region have been waiting for – the names of the winners of its 2018 Safety Poster and Essay Contest.

Each year, Metra invites students in grades K-12 throughout its six-county service area to submit poster designs and essays highlighting the importance of railroad safety. This year, Metra received more than 2,200 entries. Students created artwork and wrote essays around the theme “Eyes Up, Devices Down: Look, Listen, Live.”

The contest, which is in its 12th year, enables students to use their creativity to take ownership of the safety message by creating posters and essays that are used by Metra in its safety campaigns. The winners were selected through a three-round judging process with the finalists judged by a panel of 29 that included government officials, representatives from safety and education advocacy groups, business and community leaders, law enforcement, media and railroad professionals.

“We are delighted to see how many students participated in this contest and they demonstrated it through artwork and essays the importance of staying safe near the railroad”, said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “The winners of this contest have done a great job of communicating this message.”

First-, second- and third-place winners were chosen from each grade level in elementary school, middle school and high school. 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.

A People’s Choice Award winner will also be selected via voting on Metra’s website. Members of the general public can select their favorite poster from this year’s first-place winners. Voting for People’s Choice will be available online through midnight Friday, June 8. The artist who garners the most votes will receive an additional $250 prize. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will be announced at the June 13 meeting of the Metra Board of Directors. Those interested in voting can view the winning images here and then cast their vote here.

Metra also recognizes the school with the most entries submitted in the poster contest. This year’s winner is Wauconda’s Robert Crown Elementary with 785 entries. In honor of this achievement, the school will receive an IPad Pro for use in the classroom.

The following students were chosen as winners of the 2018 Safety Poster and Essay Contest:

Top Participating School
Robert Crown Elementary, Wauconda

First Place Essay
K-4 Division — Rumaysa Siddiqui, 4th Grade, Sunnydale Elementary, Streamwood
5-8 Division — Jad Farhat, 5th Grade, Elmer H. Franzen Intermediate School, Itasca
9-12 Division — Grace Roberts, 9th Grade, Lyons Township High School, Western Springs

First Place Poster
Kindergarten — Nathaniel Sihwan Chae, Christian Heritage Academy, Northfield
1st Grade   — Jiin Kim, Henry Winkelman Elementary, Glenview
2nd Grade — Gia Choudhary, White Eagle Elementary, Naperville
3rd Grade — Kate Levenshteyn, Pritchett Elementary, Buffalo Grove
4th Grade — Habin Park, Glenview School of Arts, Glenview
5th Grade —  Javier E. Aranda, Ridge Circle Elementary, Streamwood
6th Grade — Ksenia Baatz, The Avery Coonley School, Downers Grove
7th Grade — Yebin Park, Glenview School of Arts, Glenview
8th Grade — Aaliyah Merrick, St. Agnes Catholic School, Chicago Heights — TIE

8th Grade — Whitney Madler, Lincoln Middle School, Mount Prospect — TIE
9th Grade — Charles Choi, John Hersey High School, Arlington Heights
10th Grade — Hannah Bae, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire
11th Grade — Kate Hoekstra, Lyons Township High School, LaGrange
12th Grade — Ivo Komornicki, Naperville Central High School, Naperville

Second Place Poster
Kindergarten — Jaya Wong, Madison School, Hinsdale
1st Grade — Claire Na, St. Mary School, Buffalo Grove
2nd Grade — Levi Boyle, Lincoln Elementary, Saint Charles
3rd Grade — Harry Kim, Maplebrook Elementary, Naperville
4th Grade — Rachel Redden, Glenview School of Arts, Glenview
5th Grade — Kyuri Moon, Ivy Hill Elementary, Buffalo Grove
6th Grade — Nikita Jurcenko, Geneva Middle School North, Geneva
7th Grade — Michael Choi, Thomas Middle School, Arlington Heights
8th Grade — Baeyoung Yoo, Northbrook Junior High, Northbrook
9th Grade — Ilhana Kisija, Niles North High School, Skokie
10th Grade — Lauren Toepper, Woodstock High School, Woodstock
11th Grade — Rachel Visick, Glenbard South High School, Wheaton
12th Grade — Maya Ben Dror, Highland Park High School

Third Place Poster
Kindergarten — Marko Schmid, John Laidlaw Elementary, Western Springs
1st Grade — Arlyne J. Aranda, Parkwood Elementary, Hanover Park
2nd Grade — Aaron S. Ahn, White Eagle Elementary, Naperville
3rd Grade — Hyunsoo B. Lee, Prairie Elementary, Buffalo Grove
4th Grade — Lilian Huang, Glenview School of Arts, Northbrook
5th Grade — Lena Esther Chae, Glen Grove Elementary, Glenview
6th Grade — David Aranda, Parkwood Elementary, Streamwood
7th Grade — Julia Levenshteyn, Aptakisic Junior High, Deerfield
8th Grade — Gabriel Delgado, Beecher Junior High, Beecher
9th Grade —  Ysabelle Pinpin, Whitney M. Young High School, Chicago
10th Grade — Lindley Wiesner, Lake Forest High School, Lake Forest
11th Grade — Sabreen Abdulla, Mather High School, Chicago
12th Grade — Stella Tsogtjargal, Gemini Junior High, Glenview

Honorable Mention Essay

K-4 Division — Nivedh Mhahesh, 2nd Grade, Gwendolyn Brooks Elementary, Aurora
K-4 Division — Kyra Jordan, 4th Grade, Homeschooled, Naperville
5-8 Division — Kevin Xue, 5th Grade, Monroe Elementary, Hinsdale
5-8 Division — Molly Kudlacz, 5th Grade, St. Francis Xavier, LaGrange
5-8 Division — Bridget Gannon, 5th Grade, St. Francis Xavier, LaGrange
9-12 Division— Simone Hoekstra, 9th Grade, Whitney Young High School
9-12 Division— Ryan Grunsten, 12th Grade, Fenwick High School
9-12 Division— Vito McCord, 12th Grade, Benito Juarez Community Academy

Honorable Mention Poster

Anna Y. Lee, Willow Grove Early Learning Center, Buffalo Grove

1st Grade
Wynston Sun, Lane Elementary, Hinsdale
Hyunseo Ahn, Meadowbrook Elementary, Northbrook

2nd Grade
Uliana Shvydkoy, Madison Elementary, Hinsdale

3rd Grade
Justin Zheng, Pleasant Hill Elementary, Palatine
Grace Ahn, Ivy Hill Elementary, Buffalo Grove
Dianne Park, Kildeer Elementary, Long Grove

4th Grade
Weronika Jaworska, Washington Elementary, Schiller Park
Alison Chung, Glenview School of Arts, Glenview
Lydia Kim, Shabonee Elementary, Northbrook

5th Grade
Kallie Wang, Skinner North, Chicago
Kaylee Ahn, Prairie Elementary, Naperville
Lucian Kim, Shabonee Elementary, Northbrook

6th Grade
Emily Mia Fernandez, Old Orchard Junior High, Skokie
Joshua Zheng, Pleasant Hill Elementary, Palatine

7th Grade
Olivia Ahn, Washington Elementary, Naperville
Paul Bae, Northbrook Junior High, Northbrook

8th Grade
Jonah Rivera, Westchester Middle School, Westchester

9th Grade
Simah Riaz, Homeschooled, Lombard

10th Grade
Huzaira Tayab, Mather High School, Chicago
Helenna Gu, Naperville North High School, Naperville
Joanne Kim, Glenbrook North High School, Northbrook

11th Grade
Iris Gan, Gevena High School, Geneva
Azareah Carson, Plainfield South High School, Plainfield

Yasmin Esteves, Mather High School, Chicago

12th Grade
Brittany Ruff, Woodstock High School, Woodstock
Cameron Duncan, Oak Park River Forest High School, Oak Park




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