HANNIBAL, MO – Jennifer Chandler has been involved in some aspect of safe driving education since a tragic accident in 2016 claimed the life of two North Shelby High School students. At that time, Chandler was a teacher there and had teenage children of her own. The crash motivated her to make it her mission to ensure something like this never happened again in their community. Because of her efforts, she has been recognized as the 2022 Northeast Regional Show-Me Zero Award winner, presented to her at the Highway Safety and Traffic Annual Conference in Columbia. The Northeast Region encompasses 17 counties in northeast Missouri.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude and just appreciate the opportunities I get to share information about safe driving,” Chandler said. “If I can save even one life through this work, it is all worth it,” she stated.
Chandler became involved in every safe driving organization she could to help accomplish this mission. One of the first programs she signed up for was TRACTION (then known as Team Spirit). This program engages students to create and implement a plan within their school to help educate young drivers on roadway safety. Chandler has assured the students not only attend the TRACTION conference every year, she also ensures follow through. She has led the students to identify creative, interactive opportunities to get all students involved and engaged in safe driving.
Once Chandler retired in May 2022, she officially joined the Northeast Coalition for Roadway Safety as an Outreach Coordinator. She continues her personal mission to save lives in northeast Missouri by educating all ages on the importance of safe driving.
Since this tragedy in 2016, and her accepting the leading role to save students’ lives, there have been zero fatalities from North Shelby High School.
While the award was a surprise to Chandler, another unexpected occurrence was that her parents, Jon and Sue, and one of her daughters, Elaina, were able to attend the recognition ceremony.