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April 13, 2017
Teens From Around the State Honored in DMV-Travelers
9th Annual Teen Safe Driving Contest Ceremony
WINDSOR – The ninth annual DMV-Travelers Teen Safe Driving Video Contest winners were awarded tonight with Weston High School taking first place for the second straight year. Students crafted videos with the theme, "One Split Second..."

Highway safety advocates, state and other officials honored teens from across Connecticut on Thursday evening for their work to promote safe driving during the DMV-Travelers teen safe driving video contest.  The second-place winner was Haddam-Killingworth High School, followed by East Lyme High School in third place.
"Each year we have a new influx of young and inexperienced drivers on the road, and the safety messages from this contest help raise awareness and remind these drivers, their parents and their communities about the importance of safe driving,” Governor Dannel P. Malloy said.  “I want congratulate and thank all the students and teams who participated.”

"Congratulations to the winners and to all the participants in this year's Teen Safe Driving Video Contest," said Attorney General George Jepsen. "We all play an important part in encouraging and instilling safe driving habits in new, teenage drivers. Thank you to the DMV and to Travelers for again coordinating a successful event."

DMV Commissioner, Michael Bzdyra said, "This year’s theme -- One Split Second…  – provided students with a powerful and concise starting off point to create a clear message about good decision making as a driver or a passenger. These students and their videos did a fantastic job of using the contest theme to remind their peers of what can happen in a very short amount time.”

"We strongly believe in the power of programs that promote safety behind the wheel,” said Henry Edinger, Chief Customer Officer at Travelers. “This contest encourages teens to appreciate the responsibility that comes with driving and the importance of staying alert and focused. Congratulations to all of the winners for helping to make our roadways safe.”

The Contest at a Glance
Travelers, the contest's co-sponsor, hosted the awards ceremony at its flagship Claim U facility in Windsor, Conn. Travelers increased from last year the monetary awards to schools by $1,000 for first, second and third places, and offered up to $24,000 in awards to the winning schools and their students, and also donated prizes and gifts to the students and high schools.

In addition in separate awards, Simsbury High School won the award for use of community members; East Lyme High School won the award for use of humor; Wheeler High School (North Stonington) won the award for use of music; and Woodland Regional High School (Beacon Falls) won the award for use of parental figure.  Woodland Regional High School also won the DMV Teen Safe Driving Multi-Cultural Award and Weston High School won The DMV-Travelers Challenge for most views on YouTube among the top-three overall winners.
There were over 150 student-team submissions that involved a total of nearly 400 students statewide representing 37 high schools. Videos of the winners can be viewed on DMV's YouTube site at:

Weston High School will receive $6,000 for first place and the winning student team will split $1,250 in Visa Gift cards; Haddam-Killingworth High School will receive $5,000 for second place and the winning student team will split $1,000 in Visa Gift cards; and East Lyme High School will receive $4,000 for third place and the winning student team will split $750 in Visa Gift cards.  Woodland Regional High School will receive $1,000 from the multi-cultural award sponsor, Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital and the winning student team from Weston High School will split $1,000 in Visa Gift cards from Travelers for garnering the most views on the DMV Teen Safe Driving YouTube Channel.

The Contest Theme:  One Split Second…
The contest theme, "One Split Second…," 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.

It only takes one second for teens behind the wheel or with friends to make a positive or negative decision related to driving. That decision can have lasting effects on one’s safety, future and life. The contest challenged students to use the theme “One Split Second..,” to demonstrate a creative, unique and effective message related to making responsible and safe decisions about driving.  To enter this year's DMV contest, high school students were asked to direct, shoot and edit public service announcement up to 45 seconds in length.

Student advisors who worked on the project are Kojo Appiah and Luc Milam of Xavier High School in Middletown; Hannah Chua-Reyes, Alexandra Porczak and Maggie Silbo of Mercy High School in Middletown; Sam Fiske, Colman Galgovich, Devin Hartzog, Yusuf Malik, Armani Nieves and Alexander Walshaw of William H. Hall High School in West Hartford; Tyler Lemire of Arts at the Capitol Theater in Willimantic; Dylan Madden of W.F. Kaynor Technical High School in Waterbury; and Angela Zhu of Cheshire High School.

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 AAA; 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 DMV-Travelers Challenge - $1,000 in Visa Gift cards split among the winning student team in the overall top three 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 a video from Weston High School for garnering 1,500 views as of April 9, 2017. Travelers is the award's corporate prize sponsor.

DMV Teen Safe Driving Multi-Cultural Award - $1,000 to the school presenting the best multi-cultural messaging in a video submitted to the contest.  A video from Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls was selected for its message of diversity. Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program is the award's sponsor.

All winning teams received certificates from Governor Dannel P. Malloy and DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra, as well as gift baskets from Travelers.

Screening panels, including representatives from law enforcement, media, students and parents, narrowed over 150 submissions to finalists. Afterwards a panel of judges representing highway safety advocates that included Attorney General George Jepsen, DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra, Travelers executive Eric Nordquist, 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 – Nathan Katz (student director), Michael Bogaev, Andrew Harwood and Alex McCall of Weston High School.  (YouTube link:
  • Second place – Markus Trahan (student director), Aidan Korper, Rachel Senechal and Josh White of Haddam-Killingworth High School.  (YouTube link:
  • Third place – Gregory Stewart (student director), Daniel Sackett and Yalley Sackett of East Lyme High School.  (YouTube link:
Special Category Awards
  • Use of Community Members – Amira Elkeky (Student Director) and Sophie Cassano of Simsbury High School.  (YouTube link:
  • Use of Humor - Gregory Stewart (student director), Daniel Sackett and Yalley Sackett of East Lyme High School.  (YouTube link:
  • Use of Music - Michael Anderson (student director), Donny Davino, Evan Jones and Samantha Muller of Wheeler High School in North Stonington.  (YouTube link:
  • Use of Parental Figure - Katie Sirowich (student director) Ethan Carlone, Marko Gutierro, Brandon McCusker and Jack Setaro of Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls.  (YouTube link:
DMV Teen Safe Driving Multi-Cultural Award
  • Winner – Woodland Regional High School (Beacon Falls) – Alexandra Cianciolo (student director) and Amir Otajagic. (YouTube link:
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 winners.
Arts at the Capitol Theater (Willimantic)
Shannon Gorman
Elizabeth Halburt          
Tyler Lemire     
Alex Little         
David Sarnik    
Sarah Smith      
Avon High School
Melina Belenardo
Evan Chang     
Brooke Coppen
Rhea D'Costa
Jake DeLuca    
Gavin Douglass           
Olivia Gaston   
Tyler Hinrichs    
Jeanna Langan 
Olivia Lazarus   
HaeYoung Yi    
Bacon Academy (Colchester)
Dylan Woodcock         
Cheney Tech (Manchester)
Kiara Franklin   
Kyle Islieb
Morgan Landry 
Austin LeBlanc 
Corey Mazzola 
Matthew Motyka           
Dylan Sharp     
Dylan Tripp      
Cheshire High School
Kelsey Malloy  
Matt Urbano     
Conard High School (West Hartford)
Asim Atreya
Patrick Baron
Lila Bell
Frankie Carpio  
Jorge Delgado 
Ciara McCann   
Ben Morozuk    
Kaye Paddyfote           
Colby Roy
Connecticut River Academy (East Hartford)
Cassandra Figueroa     
Daniel Hand (Madison)
Claire Bader
Elizabeth Bergstrom
Sophia Fedus  
Cole Finke       
Michael McKeon           
Darien High School-Depot
Lindsey Ferreira
East Lyme High School
Austin Block    
Gregory Stewart*                      
Engineering - Science University Magnet School (West Haven)
Blake Busch
Austin Cepalia
Xavier Hand     
Kayla Langley  
Gabriella Martinez
Alexander Reyna
Abigail Ulsamer
Nicholas Unger 
Fairchild Wheeler (Bridgeport)
Terrel Chang     
Riah Seda  
Fitch High School (Groton)
Raphael Adames
Massimo Bacchiocchi   
Oliver Banks    
Ingrid Buckhorn
Samuel Heilig   
David Lively     
Anthony Moore
Foran High School (Milford)
Pauline Fernandez        
Erin Greene
Glastonbury High School
Max Riley         
Haddam-Killingworth (Higganum)
Emily Pitruzzello
Markus Trahan*            
Hall High School (West Hartford)
Alexandra Ambroise     
Peter Fox         
Nathan Graber  
Max Hanke       
Devin Hartzog  
Ava Murphy
Christopher Pang         
Zaria Peña       
Jordaine Wisdom
Jack Wisialowski          
Beckett Zinn Rawthorn  
Hamden High School
Justin Feldshon
Jhordan Peterson         
Rosemary Bailey
Jonathan Law High School (Milford)
Manar Almidani
Brianna Lenotti 
Masuk High School (Monroe)
Mary Attah-Agyeman    
Andre Badolato
Michael DeCarlo
James DiPreta 
Michael Eisenman
Ian Hidalgo
Justin Pietrzak  
Kenneth Price
Shawn Rayno
Elizabeth Steeves         
Ryan Tedesco  
Middletown High School
Jay Nanfito
Jacob Radziewicz
North Branford High School
Jacob Neubig  
North Haven High School
Peyton Farina   
Zachary Pincince
Norwich Free Academy
Maggie Peter   
Pomperaug High School (Southbury)
Nathan Bennett 
Regional Center for the Arts (Trumbull)
Sam Pellicone
Abby Phillips
Shephaug Valley (Washington)
Katherine Lecher           
Simsbury High School
Amira Elkeky*
Suffield High School (West Suffield)
Erica Devin
Tourtellotte Memorial High School (Thompson)
Chandler Blanchard
Two Rivers-CREC Hartford
Jacob Gentile   
Weston High School
Francois Boers 
Nathan Katz*    
Wheeler High School (North Stonington)
Michael Anderson*       
Evan Burns      
Jessica Giesing
Kendall Lynch  
Julia McGowan 
Matt Woroby
Williams School (New London)
Reese Berman  
Woodland Regional High School (Beacon Falls)
Lauren Charette
Alexandra Cianciolo*
Matthew Luxeder
Nicole Martin
Katie Sirowich* 
Woodstock Academy
Hunter Garceau