Sixteen first-place winners from across Metra’s six-county service area were introduced and presented with plaques and iPads in recognition of their efforts to promote train safety.
Front row from left to right: Noah Bae, Hoffman Elementary, Glenview; Leah Wong, Madison Elementary, Hinsdale; Jai Viswanathan, May Watts Elementary, Naperville; Roman Baranovski, May Watts Elementary, Naperville.
Second Row from left to right: Meg Thomas-Reile, public relations manager, Metra; Director Rodney Craig; Lindley Wiesner, Lake Forest High School, Lake Forest; Ava Doran, Alexander Graham Bell, Chicago; Maria Kadochinokova, J.B Elementary, Batavia; Habin Park, Glenview School of Arts, Glenview; Eun Chae Lee, Glenview School of Arts, Glenview; Ms. Gates, Ida B. Wells Prep, Chicago; Dianne Sharp, Hubbard Radio; Sylvia Ortiz-Cooper, senior media relations specialist, Metra.
Third Row from left to right: Director John Plante; Aaliyah Merrick, Marian Catholic High School, Chicago Heights; Charles Choi, John Hersey High School, Arlington Heights; CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski; Chairman Norman Carlson; Susan Wiencek, Hubbard Radio; Director Corey L. Thames; Vice Chairman Romayne C. Brown.
Fourth Row from left to right: Director Ken Koehler; Director John P. Zediker; Director Don A. DeGraff; Director Tim Baldermann; Director Stephen Palmer; Director Steven K. Messerli.
“The cornerstone of this campaign has been to increase public awareness of the importance of safe behaviors around railroad tracks,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “These talented students used their creativity to help us reinforce this safety message not just with their peers, but with everyone in the region who interacts with the railroad.”
The contest is designed to promote and reinforce railroad safety messages and keep our region’s children safe around trains. In its 13th year, more than 1,900 students from 222 schools across the region participated, creating artwork and writing essays around the theme “Use Your Senses: Look Listen Live.”
Metra’s Safety Contest invites students in grades K-12 to submit poster designs and essays highlighting the importance of railroad safety. Tasked with selecting the winners was a panel of 24 judges, including government officials, first responders, representatives from safety and education advocacy groups, business and community leaders, media and railroad professionals.
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 received an iPad, while second- and third-place poster contest winners received $250 and $100 gift cards, respectively.
The People’s Choice Award winner is Lindley Wiesner, an eleventh grader who attends Lake Forest High School in Lake Forest. More than 554 people voted for the poster they liked best online and selected her artwork as the favorite. For this achievement, she received an additional $250 prize.
Metra also recognized the school with the most entries submitted in the poster contest. This year’s winner is Ida B. Wells Prep with 274 entries. In honor of this achievement, the school has received a Dell Latitude laptop for use in the classroom.
The first-place poster designs will be featured in Metra’s 2020 safety calendar, on weekend tickets and on the Metra website. Winning safety essays will also be featured in the safety calendar, the Metra website and Facebook page. The second- and third-place posters will also be featured on the contest’s Facebook page.