IL: Metra Safety Contest Winners Announced

Winners have been chosen in the 2014 edition of Metra’s Safety Poster and Essay Contest, designed to promote and reinforce railroad safety messages and keep our region’s children safe around trains.

Thousands of students from across the region participated in this year’s contest, creating artwork or writing essays around the theme “Get Smart, Look Listen Live.”

Each year, Metra’s Safety Contest invites students in grades K-12 throughout its six-county service area to submit poster designs and essays highlighting the importance of railroad safety. Tasked with selecting the winners were a panel of 23 judges, including government officials, representatives from safety and education advocacy groups, business and community leaders, media and railroad professionals.

“Safety has always been Metra’s highest priority, and for the past eight years this contest has been an innovative way for Metra to bring rail safety discussions into classrooms across our region,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “The posters and essays created by these talented students help us educate future as well as current riders about how to stay safe around our trains and tracks.”

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 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 By going to this site, the public will be able to select their favorite poster from this year’s first place finishers. Voting will be available online beginning Monday, June 9, 2014 through midnight Thursday, July 31 and is open to the public. 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 August meeting of the Metra Board.

Metra also recognizes the school with the most entries submitted in the poster contest. This year’s winner is Chicago’s Norman A. Bridge Elementary with more than 500 entries. In honor of this achievement, the school will receive a computer for use in the classroom.

The first-place poster designs will be featured in Metra’s 2015 safety calendar, on monthly 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.

Metra’s Safety Contest, which is in its eighth year, would not be possible without the support of its sponsors, whose generous contributions have helped Metra defray the costs of the contest prizes as well as the production of the safety posters. This year’s contest sponsor is the Hubbard Radio Group, owners of Chicago radio stations 97.1 FM The Drive, 100.3 Chicago’s Rewind and 101.9 The Mix.

The following students were chosen as winners of the 2013-2014 Safety Contest:

1st Place Poster

  • Kindergarten — Evan Boyle, St. Charles, Lincoln Elementary
  • 1st Grade — Tristan Mehra, Naperville, White Eagle Elementary
  • 2rd Grade — Manya Davis, Naperville, White Eagle Elementary
  • 3rd Grade — Samantha Chen, Green Oaks, Copeland Manor School
  • 4th Grade — Dylan Tran, Lincolnwood, Rutledge Hall
  • 5th Grade — Julia Petrea, Glenview, Glenview School of Arts
  • 6th Grade — Leon Kosciak, Glenview, Glenview School of Arts
  • 7th Grade — Veronica Buchweitz, Lake in the Hills, Westfield Community School
  • 8th Grade — Daniel Garcia, Des Plaines, Algonquin Middle School
  • 9th Grade — Michelle Mo, Downers Grove, Downers Grove South High School
  • 10th Grade — Cameron Chen, Green Oaks, Libertyville High School
  • 11th Grade — Vladan Malinovic, La Grange, Lyons Township High School
  • 12th Grade — Joshua Andrew Moy, Riverwoods, Deerfield High School

2nd Place Poster

  • Kindergarten — Aditi Prabhu, Naperville, White Eagle Elementary
  • 1st Grade — Sathya Devarajan, Aurora, Reba Steck Elementary School
  • 2nd Grade — Maricela Buckingham, Glenview, Glenview School of Arts
  • 3rd Grade — Yebin Park, Northbrook, Glenview School of Arts
  • 4th Grade — Madelyn Lee, Buffalo Grove, Glenview School of Arts
  • 5th Grade — Akhil Devarajan, Aurora, Reba Steck Elementary School
  • 6th Grade — Lydia Tan, Vernon Hills, Daniel Wright Junior High School
  • 7th Grade — Julie Frederickson, Evergreen Park, Central Junior High School
  • 8th Grade — Erika Galeczka, Hainesville, Grayslake Middle School
  • 9th Grade — Danielle Murwaski, Oak Forest, Oak Forest High School
  • 10th Grade — Sung-Kyung Yoon, Northbrook, Glenbrook North High School
  • 11th Grade — Shelbie Nevilles, Chicago, Frederick Douglass Academy High School
  • 12th Grade — Jennifer Sachs, Deerfield, Deerfield High School

3rd Place Poster

  • Kindergarten — Cal Leatherman, Naperville, Goddard School
  • 1st Grade —Kyuri Moon, Buffalo Grove, Ivy Hall Elementary School
  • 2nd Grade — Ally Humbert, Libertyville, Copeland Manor School
  • 3rd Grade — Sean Park, Buffalo Grove, Kildeer Countryside Elementary School
  • 4th Grade — Abigail Van Engen, Tinley Park, Helen Keller Elementary
  • 5th Grade — Sonia Gutkowski, Naperville, Scott Elementary School
  • 6th Grade — Olegario Arias, Chicago, Gerald Delgado Kanoon Magnet School
  • 7th Grade — Jasmine Johnson, Chicago, Federico Garcia Lorca Elementary School
  • 8th Grade — Ivan Gachuz, Aurora, Jefferson Middle School
  • 9th Grade — Luis Andrade, Bartlett, Bartlett High School
  • 10th Grade — Maria Guadalupe Garcia Eustaquio, Des Plaines, Maine West High School
  • 11th Grade — Jassiel Serna, Streamwood, Streamwood High School
  • 12th Grade —Janellie Gozzola, Chicago, Chicago Academy High School


  • K-4 Division — Sean Forman, Palatine, 2nd Grade, Virginia Lake Elementary School
  • 5-8 Division — Akhil Devarajan, Aurora, 5th Grade, Reba Steck Elementary
  • 9-12 Division — Evelyn Gachuz, Aurora, 12th Grade, West Aurora High School

Top Participating School

  • Norman A. Bridge Elementary, Chicagco