SIDNEY – The winner of this year’s Ohio Department of Transportation Paint the Plow Competition is Jackson Center Local Schools.
The award was presented Friday at the District 7 headquarters by Deputy Director of ODOT District 7 Randy Chevalley. ODOT crews were there also, along with family and friends of the participants.
Paint the Plow allows local school districts to design and paint a mural on an ODOT plow blade. The blades may be displayed in local parades, festivals and county fairs in coming months. They will also be attached to plow trucks during the winter months to use on roadways near the school districts in which they were painted.
Thirteen districts competed this year, while only nine competed last year. Chevalley and other organizers hope to get even more schools interested in participating in the project next year.
The winners were narrowed down by county, then district, and there were four districts, so four finalists were voted on by all ODOT workers.
The two semi-finalists were Indian Lake Middle School and Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center. The runner-up was Wapakoneta High School.
Sandra Corbet, the art teacher at Jackson Center Local Schools, and a few of the most dedicated students to the project, Kamryn Elchert, Tianne Speicher and Caroline Frieders, were there to accepted the first-place award.
Their plow blade featured the phrase, “On the road off the phone.” Corbet said she got this idea when she was looking for meaningful phrases on the Internet.
“I was reading some things that parents had written about things they were going to warn their kids about when they first started driving when they were 16 and this was one of the phrases that a parent had come up with, and I thought, that really hits home. …We’re hoping people will read it and do what it says,” Corbet said.
Elchert, Speicher and Frieders, along with 25 or so other students from their school, worked on the project for about two weeks this spring; even having to battle the rain and cold to get the blade painted.
Group members said they plan to participate in the contest again next year and hope to start coming up with some ideas this summer.