FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 2013
Teen Safe Driving: Are You In?
Willimantic Is In for First Place; Madison Gets In for Second
West Harford's Hall High School Sweeps 3rd, 4th and 5th
WINDSOR – The top ranking winners in the DMV annual teen safe driving contest were announced tonight with Willimantic's Arts at the Capitol Theater taking first place. It also achieved the distinction of being the only school to rank in the top 10 for five consecutive years the contest has run.
Highway safety advocates, state and other officials honored teens from across Connecticut on Tuesday evening for their work to promote safe driving during the fifth annual Department of Motor Vehicles’ teen safe driving video contest, From the Driver’s Seat to the Director’s Chair.
This year’s other winners were: Second Place – Daniel Hand High School in Madison; Third, Fourth and Fifth Places – Hall High School in West Hartford. The winning schools will share in a $15,000 cash prize provided by Travelers, which 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, Norwich Free Academy won the DMV Teen Safe Driving Multi-Cultural Award and New Canaan High School won The Travelers Challenge.
There were 128 student-team submissions that involved a total of 478 students statewide representing 32 high schools.
“We are proud of these top winning students and proud of the nearly 500 students who participated in the contest this year. As each of them created an important safety message while doing these videos," DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey said.
“The theme -- Teen Safe Driving - Are You In? -- captures the question and the blunt message that's crucial in peer-to-peer communication. Congratulations to all the students who participated in this year’s contest,” she added.
“Congratulations to the participants of this year’s contest, including the teen advisory council who took an active role in promoting safe teen driving to their peers,” said Doreen Spadorcia, Vice Chairman, Travelers. “Through the creativity of the participants and leadership of the advisory council, Connecticut teens will be reminded of the responsibility they have when they get behind the wheel.”
Arts at the Capitol Theater will receive $5,000 for first place, Daniel Hand High School will receive $4,000 for second place and Hall High School in West Hartford will receive $3,000 for third place, $2,000 for fourth place, and $1,000 for fifth. Videos of the five winning teams and finalists can be viewed on DMV’s YouTube site at: http://www.youtube.com/teensafedriving12
Teen Safe Driving: Are You In?
The contest theme was designed by five teen advisors to DMV last summer. They volunteered to help make the contest, which has run annually since 2009, more appealing to other teens across the state. They said a simple-to-understand theme that engages influential people, such as parents, friends or other teens, is at the heart of a convincing safety message.
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 Juhi Gupta of Rocky Hill, Michael Brainerd of East Haven, Luke Edwards of Madison, Daniyal Khan of Berlin and Patrick Kudej of Norwich. 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.
Promotional sponsors of the contest include the Connecticut Police Chief’s Association; the Connecticut State Police; Mourning Parents Act (!MPACT), a bereaved parents group); the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center; Yale-New Haven Hospital; Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center; The Connecticut Association of Schools; the state Department of Public Health; The state Department of Insurance, the state Department of Transportation; the state Division of Criminal Justice and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
DMV started the contest following its lead in crafting tougher teen driving laws<http://ct.gov/teendriving/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 New Canaan High School for garnering 2,644 views as of March 30, 2013. 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. Norwich Free Academy was selected among four 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 law enforcement, media, students and parents, narrowed the 128 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 - Tyler Liam Mainville (student director), Patrick Blair, Kelsi Johansen, Kevin Kissane and Dimitris Sfakios of Arts of the Capitol Theater in Willimantic. (YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpqqi0P1QNs&list=PLsG9MrYAhVRQqAfBCeYDys5FSMWpJpSRh&index=10)
- Second place - Scott Sweitzer (student director), Brian Anderson, Lauren Brandau, Andrew Fitzgerald and Craig Rossi of Daniel Hand High School in Madison. (YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIcw1-WEWr8&list=PLsG9MrYAhVRQqAfBCeYDys5FSMWpJpSRh&index=9)
- Third place - Griffin Anderson (student director) and Daniel O’Keefe of William H. Hall High School in West Hartford. (YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxolYsSPygY&list=PLsG9MrYAhVRQqAfBCeYDys5FSMWpJpSRh&index=7)
- Fourth place - Henry Stein (student director), Matt Clark, Swarup Lamsal, Jack Moore and Sorren Smith of William H. Hall High School in West Hartford. (YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiQ7wUohASo&list=PLsG9MrYAhVRQqAfBCeYDys5FSMWpJpSRh&index=6)
- Fifth place - Connor Dexter (student director), Samantha Bechard, Anya Dildin, Ben Elukin, Remy Gaulin, Patrick Keegan and Rob Sechtman of William H. Hall High School in West Hartford. (YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0GhTOGaC7k&list=PLsG9MrYAhVRQqAfBCeYDys5FSMWpJpSRh&index=5)
Remaining Five (5) Finalists
DMV Teen Safe Driving Multi-Cultural Award
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
Abbott Tech (Danbury)
Academy of Information Technology & Engineering (Stamford)
Arts at the Capitol Theater (Willimantic)
Bacon Academy (Colchester)
Branford High School
Brookfield High School
Cheney Tech (Manchester)
Cheshire High School
Coginchaug Regional (Durham)
Daniel Hand (Madison)
Darien High School-SADD Chapter
East Lyme High School
Hall High School (West Hartford)
Holy Cross High School (Waterbury)
Manchester High School
Masuk High School (Monroe)
Mercy High School (Middletown)
New Canaan High School
New Milford High School
Nonnewaug High School (Woodbury)
Norwich Free Academy
Jean St. Simon
Simsbury High School
South Kent School
South Windsor High School
Stonington High School
Tessa Ann Stewart
Suffield High School
Terryville High School
Waterbury Arts Magnet
West Haven High School
Weston High School
Williams School (New London)
Alex St. Louis
Xavier High School (Middletown)