DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The winners of PennDOT’s annual ‘Paint the Plow’ safety outreach contest have been announced.

“It was definitely different and very untraditional like I’ve never heard of this before,” stated Julia Gorel, a senior at Carbondale Area High School.

Julia Gorel is one of the local high school students who was tasked with designing PennDOT plow trucks in this year’s ‘Paint the Plow’ contest.

The annual contest brought together 13 schools in PennDOT’s District 4 to see who could come up with the most creative design showcasing this year’s theme ‘Put down the device in snow and ice!’

“It just enhances public awareness of the program, promotes safety for us, and gives a greater appreciation of both PennDOT and the school’s art programs,” explained Lonell Shalkowski, acting Maintenance Service Engineer for PennDOT.

Every school involved took a different approach to tackle the project.

“At first we did a sketch and then we traced it onto the plow and then we painted it and it was really enjoyable,” said Kristine Fagioli, a senior at Dunmore High School.

“The students used paints that we don’t usually use in the classroom, but they really enjoy doing it. We plan a little bit beforehand and then the students come together and collaborate and paint the plow,” added Alyssa Pezzuti an art teacher at Carbondale Area High School.

The students are creating different designs that end up coming to life.

“We figured everybody checks the news to see what the weather and the conditions are before they leave, so why not incorporate that into our design,” said Tara Crum an art teacher at North Pocono High School.

And after the final touches were made judges and the community voted on their favorite to win.

Carbondale Area took the prize as the judges’ pick. Meanwhile, North Pocono won ‘Fan Favorite’ and Dunmore received the honorable mention.

And while decorating the plows will now bring some color to the roads, the underlying message of winter driving safety sticks with the community.

“Everyone in the community loves to see it. Like I’ll have people telling me, ‘Oh, you know we saw the plow last night and it’s just so exciting and it’s such a good message to get across. Just everyone is so supportive of it.” said Cristin Hogan an art teacher at Dunmore High School.

“We learned a lot. It sent out a message that is very important to our community and not only for us but across northeastern PA. We want to promote safe driving,” explained Addy Toole, a senior at Dunmore High School.

You can learn more about PennDOT’s annual ‘Paint the Plow contest by visiting their website.