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Way to Go! Hunter Koeppen of Middle Island

Hunter Koeppen, now a third-grader at West Middle

Hunter Koeppen, now a third-grader at West Middle Island Elementary School, with his winning poster.

A Middle Island student’s illustration on school bus safety grabbed first-place honors statewide in the New York Association for Pupil Transportation’s annual poster contest.

Hunter Koeppen, a third-grader at West Middle Island Elementary School, won the grades K-2 division with his illustration showing a school bus at an intersection with its stop sign extended, along with several cars stopped and children crossing the street. He used markers, crayons and colored pencils to create the 11-inch by 17-inch poster.

The theme of this year’s safety poster contest was #STOP ON RED!

“I wanted to show it’s important for vehicles to stop when the sign says to,” said Hunter, 8, who aspires to be an illustrator. “I don’t want kids to get hurt.”

Hunter, who received $100, was the only Long Island student to get a first place in any of the contest’s age groups.

His poster advances to the national level, where the winning illustration will be used to promote National School Bus Safety Week in 2017. To reach the state contest, Hunter took first in his age group at the regional level earlier this year.

He took second-place regionally in the same poster contest last year and placed first among third-graders in a recent poster contest sponsored by the Middle Island Fire Department.

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