Plymouth schools awarded more than $11,000

PLYMOUTH — Last May, Plymouth music teacher Bryan Ames and broadcasting teachers Dave McKenzie and Phil Scott and their students teamed up to enter Ford Motor Company’s Drive One 4 UR School student video contest.
The video, produced by Plymouth High School broadcasting students Austin Craft, Derrick Lee, Sam Compton, Sarah Gouker, and Sean Hatfield, as well as 16 Lincoln Junior High School students, won first place in the region, making it one of five winning videos in the entire U.S. In the video, Plymouth students interview members of the community about their experience test driving Ford vehicles. The video also includes a “commercial” showing a father giving his son keys to a new Ford Mustang.
“How the students portrayed the cars was whimsical, which was really fun,” said John Oliver, general manager of Oliver Ford. “It showed things we would remember from our childhood.”
The students ended the video with student “news anchors” wishing the viewing audience “a lifetime of memorable moments.”
Oliver Ford held a press conference Thursday to recognize the student’s achievement, as well as present the Plymouth Music Boosters with a check for the money raised during the Drive One 4 UR School event in May. Held in the Plymouth High School parking lot, participants had to opportunity to test drive Ford vehicles. Ford committed to give $20 each time one of their cars was taken on a test drive.
“Almost the maximum number of test drives was achieved, which was awesome,” said Oliver. “The point was just to have people drive a Ford for the first time. There’s no pressure to buy—ever.”
The one day event raised $5,060 for the Music Boosters, with an additional $1,210 added for Ford Focus test drives (an additional $10 per test drive).
The high school broadcasting department also received $6,060 for their winning video (a $5,060 match from Ford Motor Company as well as an additional $1,000 because the students mentioned Ford Focus safety features).
Dan Tyree, superintendent of Plymouth schools, said that the money will be used to expand the department’s equipment.
“I’m sure I had a great big smile on my face,” said Tyree, about when he learned that the video had taken first place. “I knew this was going to really benefit our kids.”
Tyree said that the video was a collaborative effort of some of the top students in broadcasting class.
“Test scores don’t measure everything about a school,” said Tyree. “It’s the application of those skills. This video is a testament to those skills.”
Scott said that he feels the students benefit from taking classroom lessons into the real world.
“We can do book work all day long, but when you can tie in those real world applications…that just makes it all the better,” said Scott.
“I thought (the video) was remarkable, and obviously Ford did too.”
The video can be viewed on by searching for PHS TV commercial.