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Local schools at top in 'Celebrate My Drive' contest

Sara McManamy-Johnson sjohnson@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated Oct 29, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Celebrate My Drive

Students in Wilson County made a strong showing in a national contest sponsored by State Farm Insurance.

Lebanon High School, Wilson Central High School and Mt. Juliet High School ranked among the top schools in the nation by the deadline for State Farm’s “Celebrate My Drive.”

In the final hours of the competition Saturday, Lebanon and Wilson Central swapped for first place multiple time. State Farm will announce the official winner Dec. 9.

“Celebrate My Drive” challenged schools throughout the country to garner as many safe-driving pledges as possible. The top schools stood to win grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000. Two grand-prize winners, one from small schools and one from large school, will each win a Kelly Clarkson concert.

Chip Bevis, assistant principal at Wilson Central, attributed much of the contest’s success in the Wilson County to the friendly rivalry between Lebanon and Wilson Central.

Bevis said he teamed up with Darian Brown, assistant principal at Lebanon High School, to localize the national competition a bit.

“We thought, ‘Well, this is a great opportunity for our two schools facing off the week after fall break,’” said Bevis.

“Any time you have competition, it usually brings out the best in people,” said Darian Brown, assistant principal at Lebanon High School

He said the response was “amazing.”

“I can’t remember a time when there was that much excitement about something,” said Brown.

The two Wilson County football rivals were set to face off on the football field shortly before the contest was due to end, so they made a friendly wager and added some incentives for the students.

“It looks like we’re going to have to find good, clean pig,” said Bevis.

School administrators promised to kiss a pig if Wilson Central beat Lebanon.

Bevis said school officials from other competing schools had called him to find out how Wilson Central was getting the results.

“It went bigger than any of us ever expected,” said Bevis. “It’s almost hard to believe because of so many schools involved.”

“I hope it showed our students that we are able to do anything we put our minds to,” said Brown. “It is amazing when you come together as a family and fight for one common goal what can be achieved.”

“We would like to thank [Mt. Juliet State Farm agent] Jeff Gannon and the community and Lebanon High School,” said Bevis.

“I do want to take this time to thank the community,” said Brown. “They were absolutely phenomenal.”

“At the end of the day, it’s for our students, and we’re really one Wilson County,” said Bevis.

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