In 2006, Western Reserve Joint Fire District fire prevention officer Bill O'Hara started a program with the fourth grade to take part in the Ohio fire safety poster contest. Since that time, local winners have been chosen and sent to the state for final judging. Up until this month, the best anyone did was to get an honorable mention.
"We now have the first state winner in Poland history," O'Hara said.
It all began in October during Fire Safety Month. Fourth-graders used their artistic talents to design a poster for fire safety. At the end of the month two fourth-graders were chosen as winners. Those two were Wyatt Bobbey, son of Matthew and Carla Bobbey, and Anthony Koulianos, son of Dr. Anthony and Lauren Koulianos.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Dobbins Elementary School celebrated its first ever state fire safety poster winner on Friday, March 22 during a special assembly at the school. Fourth-grader Anthony Koulianos, son of Dr. Anthony and Lauren Koulianos was presented with several awards during the assembly. He is pictured here with his parents and Western Reserve Joint Fire District fire prevention officer Bill O’Hara (left) and State of Ohio fire safety educator Tim Royer (back-center).
After the local contest, both Dobbins artists had their work sent to the state fire marshall for a statewide contest.
"We choose 12 state winners for Ohio," said state fire safety educator Tim Royer.
Anthony was brought up front during the assembly where Royer presented him with a proclamation, a framed copy of his winning poster, two new smoke detectors, a certificate stating he will be receiving tickets to the Ohio State Fair, and a blue first-place ribbon.
To further commemorate the achievement, O'Hara presented Anthony with a proclamation from Poland Township trustees and a $50 gift card to Friendly's.
At the end of the assembly, Anthony and Wyatt were told they would each get picked up by a WRJFD fire truck and brought to school on the last day of May.
Also in attendance were WRJFD firefighters Robert Sanchez, Tyler Adams, Howard Hallis, and Sara Rolland, who is an alumnus of Dobbins.
As for Anthony's winning poster, it focused on testing and replacing batteries in a smoke detector. His mother Lauren said he enjoyed making the poster.
"Anthony loves his art," she said. "He always puts a lot into it."