DMV: Madison Takes First Place in DMV - Travelers Teen Safe Driving Video Contest

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Madison Takes First Place in DMV - Travelers
Teen Safe Driving Video Contest
April 7, 2014
Editors: See complete list of all entries Statewide below.
  {Daniel Hand High School students with DMV, Travelers and AT&T executives}                          
DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey (far right),
Travelers and AT&T executives with DMV-Travelers
Teen Safe Driving Video Contest winners from
Daniel Hand High School in Madison.
WINDSOR – The sixth annual DMV teen safe driving video contest’s top-ranking winners were announced tonight with Daniel Hand High School in Madison taking first place among a record-setting 46 schools that participated.  
Highway safety advocates, state and other officials honored teens from across Connecticut on Monday evening for their work to promote safe driving during the Department of Motor Vehicles’ teen safe driving video contest.  This year’s other winners were: Second Place – William H. Hall High School in West Hartford; Third Place – Arts at the Capitol Theater in Willimantic; Fourth Place – Simsbury High School; and Fifth Place – East Lyme High School.
“We launched this campaign as a way to reach our youngest and most inexperienced drivers early-on to give them the information they need to make the right decisions when they get behind the wheel,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “I’m proud to say that this year we saw a higher level of participation in the contest than ever before and I want to commend and congratulate all of the high schools on a job well done.”
The winning schools will share in a $15,000 cash prize provided by Travelers, the contest’s co-sponsor that also hosted the awards ceremony at its flagship Claim U facility in Windsor Connecticut. Travelers also donated prizes and gifts to the students and high schools of the top 10 videos. In addition, East Hartford High School won the DMV Teen Safe Driving Multi-Cultural Award and William H. Hall High School won The Travelers Challenge.  Also, students on the first-place winning team were awarded iPads from AT&T.
There were 137 student-team submissions that involved a total of 549 students statewide representing a contest-record 46 high schools.
"I congratulate not only the contest winners but all of the participants who truly did an excellent job in trying to persuade their fellow students to stay safe behind the wheel," said Attorney General George Jepsen. "Their videos send a very powerful and persuasive message to all drivers – especially young drivers, their friends and peers – about the dangers of distracted driving."
“We so proud of all the students who produced these videos that could one day prevent needless a crash, an injury or death,” DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey said.  “The theme – Teen Drivers, Put Your Brakes on Distractions – produces a direct call to action and the clear message that's crucial in peer-to-peer communication. Congratulations to all the students who participated in this year’s contest,” she added.
“We congratulate the teens for clearly and creatively communicating the dangers of distracted driving,” said Doreen Spadorcia, Vice Chairman, Travelers. “Our hope is that the videos and their strong messages continue the dialogue about how we all play a part in keeping our teen drivers safe.”
Daniel Hand High School will receive $5,000 for first place, William H. Hall High School will receive $4,000 for second place, Arts at the Capitol Theater will receive $3,000 for third place, Simsbury High School will receive $2,000 for fourth place and East Lyme High School will receive $1,000 for fifth.
Videos of the five winning teams and finalists can be viewed on DMV’s YouTube site at:
Teen Drivers: Put Your Brakes on Distractions!
The contest theme was developed by a group of student advisors representing several Connecticut high schools.  The advisors said this theme delivers a simple message and challenges other teens to craft a message that can influence others to drive more safely.
The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that, in 2011, motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver resulted in the death of 3,331 people - eleven percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. Per miles driven, the crash rate for teens 16 to 19 years-old is four times higher than for adults - this crash risk is even higher during the first year a teenager is eligible to drive.
To enter this year’s DMV contest, high school students were asked to direct, shoot and edit a 25-second public service announcement. Teen advisors working on the project for DMV were Allie Caselli and Stephanie Lewis, both of Woodbury, and Hannah McCollam, of New Fairfield, all of whom attend Nonnewaug High School, as well as Katie Cimini of Rocky Hill, and Ama Appiah of Middletown, both attending Mercy High School. They also are members of DMV's Commissioner's Advisory Committee on Teen Safe Driving.
The DMV, Travelers and other safety advocates plan to use the videos submitted in a variety of outreach programs that it conducts as well as offer them to schools, businesses, government agencies, advocacy groups and other partners in teen safe driving.
Other promotional contest partners include the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association; the Connecticut State Police; Mourning Parents Act (!MPACT), (a bereaved parents group); the Connecticut Children's Medical Center; Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital; Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center; The Connecticut Emergency Nurses Association, the state Department of Public Health; The state Department of Insurance, the state Department of Transportation; and the state Division of Criminal Justice.
DMV started the contest following its lead in crafting tougher teen driving laws <>, including longer passenger restrictions and curfews as well as increased penalties for violations and added training requirements.
Other Awards to Teens
The Travelers Challenge  - $1,000 to the school in the Top 10 getting the most YouTube views on DMV's Center for Teen Safe Driving YouTube Channel. It is to be used in providing a teen safe driving program. This year it went to the second-place video from William H. Hall High School for garnering 3,033 views as of April 2, 2014. Travelers is the award's sponsor.
DMV Teen Safe Driving Multi-Cultural Award - $500 to the school presenting the best multi-cultural messaging in a video submitted to the contest.  East Hartford High School was selected among five schools with a message of diversity. Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital's Injury Prevention Program is the award's sponsor.
All 10 finalist teams received certificates from Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Commissioner Currey, as well as gift baskets from Travelers.
Screening panels, including representatives from law enforcement, media, students and parents, narrowed the 137 submissions to Top-10 finalists. Next a panel of judges representing highway safety advocates that included Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Attorney General George Jepsen, Travelers Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Andy Bessette, and other safety advocates, selected the ranking winners.
The following are the top-prize ranking videos based on judges’ review of overall impact, originality and cinematic style:
  • First place - Scott Sweitzer (student director), Tommy Durkin, Stefan Pelletier, Seamus Reilly, Zach Serio, Ben Swimmer and Malcolm Watts of Daniel Hand High School in Madison.   (YouTube link:
  • Second place - Ethan Freund (student director), Ian Blakelock and Thomas Doelger of William H. Hall High School in West Hartford. (YouTube link:
  • Third place - Philip Chovnick (student director), Graham Frassinelli, David Nilson, Karlyle Palmer and Danielle Wilson of Arts at the Capitol Theater in Willimantic. (YouTube link:
  • Fourth place - Emilee Buytkins (student director), Douglas Barnard, Samantha Dowd and Kelly McAlpine of Simsbury High School.  (YouTube link:
  • Fifth place - Zachary Kosakowski (student director), Jay Alpert and Daniel Rose of East Lyme High School.  (YouTube link:
Remaining Five (5) Finalists
  • Arts at the Capitol Theater (Willimantic) – Tyler Liam Mainville, Emily Chromik, Elizabeth Keefe, Eric Long and Gage Stone-Baker. (YouTube link:
  • Daniel Hand High School (Madison) - Reilly Thornbury (student director), Emerson Butler, Carter Chapman, Joel Griffin, Nicole Kronauer, Maggie Pollard and Tanner Rowell. (YouTube link:
  • Darien High School – SADD Chapter - Alana McKay (student director), Izzy Patten, Margaret Riegel and Hannah Solus. (YouTube link:
  • Waterbury Arts Magnet School – Molly Gamache (student director), Zachary Carter, Bailey Cummings, Cara Gurein and Sarah Shatas. (YouTube link:
  • William H. Hall High School (West Hartford) – Jake Gershon (student director), Armen Danielian, Nicholas Doelger, Sean Farley, Michael Li and Elena Pevar.  (YouTube link:
DMV Teen Safe Driving Multi-Cultural Award
  • East Hartford High School – Edwin Martinez (student director), Ashley Bautista, John Daniewicz, Samantha Gonzalez, Truc Nguyen and Juan Nieves Jr.
List of All Entries in the DMV Teen Video Contest by School and Student Director
Below is a list of all the directors who submitted a qualifying video entry. Only the student director is listed below, although most video contest entries came from a group effort by students. The number listed after each high school represents the number of entries submitted from that school. An asterisk (*) next to a student director’s name signifies that the entry was one of the five top winners. Two asterisks (**) next to a student director’s name indicates that the entry was one of the five finalists in the contest.
List of all entries in the DMV Teen Video Contest by School and Student Director
Amity Regional High School (Woodbridge) – 1 entry
Lillian Zhang
Arts at the Capitol Theater (Willimantic) – 4 entries
Patrick Blair
Philip Chovnick*
Lukas Kowal
Tyler Liam Mainville**
Bethel High School – 1 entry
Justin Fargiano
Branford High School – 2 entries
Brian McCaay
Rohan Patel
Bunnell High School (Stratford) – 3 entries
Edward Harrison
Waleed Mahmood
William Witkowski
Cheney Technical High School (Manchester) – 13 entries
Dylan Arre
Josue Cardona
Kristen Charest
Derick Clapp
Alexander Hetu
Rashawn Lee
Cameron Lovett
Makayla Mowel
Isaac Myers
Brittney Patraska
Tristan Spence
Akinki Stevenson
Jaime Vivar
Coginchaug Regional High School (Durham) – 1 entry
Grant Willis
Conard High School (West Hartford) – 3 entries
Taylor Davis
William Fowler
Emma Kutscher
Daniel Hand High School (Madison) – 8 entries
Caroline Gentner
Clare Gravina
Christian Jibilian
Emma O’Toole
Scott Sweitzer*
Reilly Thornbury**
Jack Visqilio
Cassidy Wygonik
Darien High School – SADD Chapter – 2 entries
Haley Close
Alana McKay**
East Hartford High School – 2 entries
Emanuel Cruz
Edwin Martinez
East Haven High School – 1 entry
Marissa Vittorio
East Lyme High School – 2 entries
Zachary Kosakowski*
Melinda Li
Engineering & Science University (Hamden) – 5 entries
Soria Azmal
Odia Kane
Walker Khadesia
Nashrul Khairl
Nicole Rodriguez
Glastonbury High School – 1 entry
Audrey Apanovitch
Guilford High School – 4 entries
Meggin Jacob
Mackenzie Johnston
Danny Motto
Heather Wirth
Haddam-Killingworth High School – 3 entries
Jennifer Carlson
Brooke Cotter
Tristen Perry
William H. Hall High School – 6 entries
Ethan Freund*
Jake Gershon**
Alex Greenhalgh
Alex Liu
Robert Parra
Henry Stein
Hillhouse High School (New Haven) – 1 entry
Sierra Ranson
Holy Cross High School (Waterbury) – 1 entry
Alexis Rhodes
Jonathan Law High School (Milford) – 5 entries
Carly Kalafus
McKenna Staurovsky
Mark Thibault
Matthew Tighe
Jacob Williamson
Journalism and Media Academy (Hartford) – 5 entries
Tirrique Clark
Daniel Livent
Ma Nwe
Ganga Sanyasi
Jordan Shakes
Lewis S. Mills High School (Burlington) – 4 entries
Michael Carlson
Ryan Cassidy
Kelsey Harris
Justin Pease
Mercy High School (Middletown) – 1 entry
Julie McLaughlin
Middletown High School – 4 entries
Michael Erdman
Joseph Marino
Maximilian Molski
Umberto Spada
New Canaan High School – 4 entries
Connor Demayo
Mathew Marshall
Michael Pickardt
Sam Reynolds
Norwich Free Academy (Norwich) – 4 entries
Alexander Fritz
Brittany Ouimette
Katherine Pugliese
Jean Simon
Oxford High School – 1 entry
Ryan Peterson
Parish Hill High School (Chaplin) – 2 entries
Jacob Jackman
Sean McNomoa
Quinebaug Middle College (Danielson) – 1 entry
Quinlan Coderre
Sacred Heart Academy (Hamden) – 2 entries
Allie O’Brien
Clare Nastri
Saint Bernard High School (Montville) – 1 entry
Joseph Stallcop
Shepaug Valley High School (Washington) – 2 entries
Haley Pesce
Shaelyn Rourk
Simsbury High School – 1 entry
Emilee Buytkins
South Windsor High School – 1 entry
Emma  Bukovski
Staples High School (Westport) – 1 entry
Ken Asada
Suffield High School – 1 entry
Angelica Banning
The Taft School (Watertown) – 1 entry
Olivia Paige
The Williams School (New London) – 17 entries
Bert Atwater
Noah Bavolack
John Borodzinski
Athan Bourganos
Liam Griscom
Benjamin Dameron
Lili Goldberg
John Hisle
Noah Jenkins
James Johnson
Ben Lahm
Katie Lipman
Carrie Maneo
Cassidy Martin
Sotiraq Vangjeli
Kailah Waheed
Sarah Wilkinson
University High School (Hartford) – 1 entry
Nathaniel Velazquez
Waterbury Arts Magnet – 1 entry
Molly Gamache**
West Haven High School – 2 entries
Aidan Krala
Kevin McDaniel
Weston High School – 5 entries
Kelsey Proceller
Austin Rakowski
Josh Valentine
James Willis
Hunter Young
Windham High School – 1 entry
Rebecca Bowling
Windsor High School – 1 entry
Abigail Parker
Woodland Regional High School (Beacon Falls) – 1 entry
John Walsh

Content Last Modified on 4/8/2014 10:43:37 AM