Driver’s education students from throughout Mobile County competed Wednesday at the Driver’s Ed Road-e-o, which was then renamed in honor of the man who started it in Mobile County 13 years ago.
Brad Lowell, MCPSS Supervisor of Athletics, Driver’s Education, Health and Physical Education, announced that the event has been renamed in honor of his predecessor, Calvin Crist, who passed away in November.
Lowell presented a plaque with the new name, the Calvin Crist Driver’s Education Road-e-o, to Crist’s wife, Dodge Elementary principal Dr. Suzanne Crist, and son Cory Crist, a teacher and coach at Mary G. Montgomery.
“Dad loved this event. He always talked about it,” Cory Crist said. “If I’m not mistaken, there are several other ones around the state now. I know he got phone calls from other places … about doing something similar to this in their school system. He’s definitely left his mark and it’s truly an honor for him to be recognized and to have this event named after him. From our family: we appreciate it.”
The road-e-o, held in the parking lot at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, presents a set of challenges to drivers ed students, including navigating a slalom course, executing a three-point turn, and backing into a parking space. Students accumulate points for navigating each portion of the course cleanly and efficiently.
“We try to incorporate everything in this course that we do in the classroom,” Davidson High driver’s ed teacher P.J. Wright said. “It is a true lifetime activity. We treat it as such when they come in the classroom. The first day, we tell our students that if you make a mistake on the road, it could cost you your life. Make a mistake in math, you get a chance to redo it.”
This year’s winner was Hannah Hendrix of Davidson High, with Theodore’s Seth Tillman finishing second and Mary Montgomery’s Makenzie Ladner placing third.
“It’s definitely opened my eyes to all the different things I need to look out for on the road,” Hendrix said of driver’s ed. “It’s just helped me learn more about how to be safe.”