With the increasing prevalence of cell phones and the temptation of text messaging, accidents have been on the rise and drivers young and old have reason to be wary. That’s why the Ottawa County Sheriffs office has educated high school students on the dangers of distracted driving for the past five years.
After spending time in Ottawa County high schools and teaching specifically on the dangers of being distracted behind the wheel, officers turned the teaching over to the students. They presented them with the opportunity of a lifetime: create a piece of art that will be displayed on westbound 196 in Grand Rapids.
We are proud to announce that for the second year in a row, a Jenison High School student has won first place! Senior Cody McConnell will have his creation (seen below) positioned near the Market Avenue exit.
Mrs. Moynihan is the JHS art teacher who assigned the billboard project to her entire Computer Creations 2 class. Using it as an opportunity to introduce various graphic design fundamentals, she showed the class “two very emotional videos in addition to having deputies come in.” She also secured a driving simulator so that her students could clearly see and experience what it’s like to drive while distracted.
Cody was Mrs. Moynihan’s student in both Computer Creations 1 and 2. She shares, “During the 1st computer class his designs showed a lot of promise so I strongly encouraged him to take the second class as he would be able to take the creative part of his work to the next level.”
After three years of participating and two first place awards, Mrs. Moynihan couldn’t be more thrilled.
“I really enjoy introducing this project to my students every year. It’s a difficult subject to address for some of the kids but I think the message to drive safe and keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel is one worth hearing. I know my own driving habits have changed for the better since working with this program.”
Congrats to Cody for winning this important, life-saving contest!