Way to go: Cassidy Baltazar, Levittown

Cassidy Baltazar, a second-grader at Gardiners Avenue Elementary

Cassidy Baltazar, a second-grader at Gardiners Avenue Elementary School in Levittown, was recently honored for turning school bus safety into a thing of art. (November 2011) (Credit: Handout)

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Cassidy Baltazar was recently honored for turning school bus safety into a thing of art.

Cassidy, a second-grader at Gardiners Avenue Elementary School in Levittown, took third place statewide in the 2011 School Bus Safety Poster Contest coordinated by the New York Association for Pupil Transportation. She won first place in the contest last spring at the Nassau County level.

Her winning illustration -- made using colored pencils and crayons -- consisted of a group of students alongside a yellow bus with the slogan "I see the driver; the driver sees me."

"I didn't think the picture would be good, because I didn't have time and I rushed," said Cassidy, 7. Upon learning she won at the state level, she said of her reaction: "First I panicked. Then I got really happy."

The drawing began as a class assignment, Cassidy said, with her school's art teacher submitting the best pieces to the contest. For winning, Cassidy received $100 at the county level and $50 at the state level.

Cassidy enjoys horseback riding in her spare time and last month won first place in her age level of Levittown Idol, a talent showcase for local youth. She dedicated the performance to her late grandmother.

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