WALL, N.J. — Student Transportation Inc. (STI) kicked off its School Bus Safety Week activities by honoring 11 employees for their outstanding commitment to safety.

The recognition took place at STI's second annual Safety Wall of Fame dinner and celebration.

The National Association for Pupil Transportation's theme for National School Bus Safety Week this year is "At My Stop, You Stop!" STI is encouraging parents, school officials and media outlets to review and share the school bus stop rules in their areas.

"It's extremely important for everyone to be mindful of the law when you're behind or across the street from a school bus that is loading or unloading students," said Don Weir, STI's director of passenger safety and compliance. "We as a company can do all the right things and train our staff to the highest degree, but we also need other drivers on the road to do their part and stop when the lights on the bus are flashing."

In addition to the company's locations holding safety demonstrations, safety meetings and additional online training courses, the company hosted its second annual Safety Wall Of Fame awards dinner and banquet. Senior executives and staff joined the award recipients for dinner as well as a tour of New York City, complete with lunch in Little Italy. STI Chairman and CEO Denis Gallagher was on hand to personally thank and present the award to each honoree.

Officials said that the company plans to grow the awards program each year and continue to recognize employees who go above and beyond to safely transport students to and from school.

"The Safety Wall of Fame recognizes the best and brightest of our drivers, dispatchers, monitors, mechanics, trainers and other employees," STI Chief Operating Officer Patrick Vaughan said. "Recognizing those that go above and beyond is a small token of our appreciation for their stellar efforts in helping STI transport over 1 million children to and from school safely and on time every school day."

Managers and general managers nominated employees at the company's locations throughout North America. Criteria for the safety-based recognition included accident-free service, reliability, knowledge of company policies and procedures, community service and involvement, perfect attendance, good character, attitude and exceptional performance.

Employees who were inducted into the Safety Wall Of Fame this year were:

• Penny Batherson — Barrie, Ontario
• Catherine Brutzman — Higganum, Connecticut
• James Caruso — Carlynton, Pennsylvania
• Wallace Clark — Coraopolis, Pennsylvani
• Amber Ellis — Merrimack, New Hampshire
• Veronica Mirehouse — Battle Ground, Washington
• Sarah Newman — San Jose, California
• Janice Respert — Lancaster, California
• Susan Simpson — Trenton, New Jersey
• Jacqueline Welcome — Bastrop, Texas
• Peggy Wolfe — Ledyard, Connecticut

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