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September 24, 2018

First OCAY League looks at teen issue of texting while driving


The Oswego County Academic Youth League’s first competition of the school year took place recently with an overall theme – Healthy Living: The Teenage Years; but more specifically a subject that seems particularly significant to teens – texting while driving.

The team from Mexico High School took the top spot in the year’s first OCAY League competition. They are coached by Shannon Bigelow.

The team from Mexico High School took the top spot in the year’s first OCAY League competition. They are coached by Shannon Bigelow.

The teams were asked to develop a program aimed at teens that addressed this public health concern.

The tasks included a math component, poster design, persuasive letter to the governor, and a public service announcement.

The results were imaginative and creative and worthy of adapting to a national ad campaign.

The results of the competition found the team from Mexico High School in first place with team members Nicholas Galluzzo, Noah Galluzzo, Kendra Harter, Anna LaBouef, Robert Pritchard, Sophia Raymond, Zachary Raymond, Alyssa Ross, Andrea Ross and Victoria Toundrow.

Their campaign featured the phrase #GTG, which in text lingo means “got to go.”

Earning the silver medal was the team from Hannibal High School coached by Bill Mason.

Earning the silver medal was the team from Hannibal High School coached by Bill Mason.

Their public service announcement encouraged teens to end conversations before they got behind the wheel with the familiar “GTG” and then turn off their phone while in the car.

The Mexico team is coached by Shannon Bigelow.

In second place and earning the silver medal was the team from Hannibal High School and team members Olivia Cacchione, Kristen D’Angelo, Adam Dennison, Austin Donhauser, Benjamin Harrell, Liam Mason, Megan Norris, Kathy Pittorf, Sydney Waloven Lindsey Wheeler and Coach Bill Mason.

Their P.H.O.N.E. slogan Protecting Humans Of NY Everyday also featured a PSA that encouraged parents to take action and phones from teens if they are going to be driving to ensure that they don’t text and drive.

Pictured are bronze medal winners, the team from Pulaski High School with Coach Sandra McCullough.

Pictured are bronze medal winners, the team from Pulaski High School with Coach Sandra McCullough.

Earning the bronze medal was the team from Pulaski High School with the team slogan, TTYL (Texting Takes Young Lives), playing against the familiar text talk message of Talk To You Later.

The team with members Brittany VanDuzer, Ruth van der Heide, Genna McCormack, Conor Raham, Alaura Gonzalez, Nick Visco, Ed Sheats, Mary Young, Gabe Aguilar and James Booth is coached by Sandra McCullough.

OCAY League was organized in the spring of 1997 with the idea that academics merit a standing comparable to athletics.

Students’ academic skills are challenged and showcased in a wide variety of competitive events that emphasize scholastic excellence, team building, leadership, and creativity.

A particular strength of the league is its emphasis on cooperative problem solving.

OCAY League is coordinated through the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation’s gifted and talented program.

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