One lucky Perrysburg High School senior will win the ultimate prize for good behavior - a brand new car.
"You hear about senioritis, the senior slump," Principal Michael Short said. "This is recognition for them. It's good for the seniors.
Students were told during the first week of school that seniors had a chance to win a new Hyundai Elantra to be raffled during a student assembly on May 26, Mr. Short said. Seniors may have multiple entries in the drawing by earning A-grades, maintaining good attendance, being involved in after-school activities, and keeping out of trouble.
The car was donated for the raffle by Taylor Hyundai.
The dealership will also pick up taxes and title fees for the vehicle, Stephen Taylor, general manager and co-owner of the dealership, said.
A 2009 Hyundai Elantra was displayed at the high school after the announcement, with some flair painted on the front windshield: "Seniors, take me to college." Though a 2010 model will be raffled to students rather than the one on display, the dealership will use the vehicle to promote the senior contest at sporting events until the latest models arrive.
The contest is meant to keep seniors motivated, and it's working, the principal said.
"I'm pretty excited, I want to win, obviously," senior Brian Boyce, 17, said. He'll be entered because he's on the high school basketball team, but said he'd try to boost his grade to get additional entries.
Cameron Gardner, 17, agreed.
"It's pretty cool, a free car," she said. "I'm trying to be nice to all my teachers so they put my name in."
"I was surprised," Aubrey Garrity, 17, said of the contest announcement. "I'm going to study harder to get better grades."
Another student daily asks the principal to "keep an eye on my car" when they pass in the hallway, Mr. Short said, laughing.
Though the car won't stay parked at the high school, Mr. Taylor said he'd sometimes drive the car to high school sporting events "just to get the kids excited" about the contest. The contest was inspired by another dealer in Vermont who had tried a similar idea.
"It's something we thought would go a long way," Mr. Taylor said of the donation. "I think it might help kids to get good grades."
The dealership also sponsors yard signs for the families of graduating seniors, and coupons for free ice cream sundaes for students who improve their grades.
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