Gov. Honors Students, Drivers at Pa. School Bus Safety Awards

Harrisburg, PA – In a ceremony at the Governor’s residence today, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Deputy Secretary for Driver and Vehicle Services Kurt Myers joined other Pennsylvania school bus safety advocates to underscore the Wolf Administration’s commitment to highway safety by honoring nine students for communicating important school bus safety messages, and six school bus drivers for their superior driving skills.

The students, in kindergarten through eighth grade, were recognized for their winning entries in the 2017 School Bus Safety Poster Contest. The theme for this year’s contest, “My Driver – My Safety Hero,” reflects the trust extended to school bus drivers by both parents and students.

“By taking part in the poster contest, these young artists use their talent and creativity to help us share important safety messages,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards.

“This year’s creations are a testament to the trust families and students place each day in the skills of our school bus drivers and their commitment to delivering our most precious assets to and from school and extracurricular activities safely.”

This year’s winners were chosen from 642 public and private school student entries. The first-place entries will be forwarded to a national competition to be judged at the end of this month.

2017 School Bus Safety Poster Contest Winners include:

Kindergarten – Grade 2

First Place: Anaya Pushkarna, Bradford Woods

Elementary School, Bradford Woods, Allegheny County

Second Place: Adelyn Myers, All Saints Catholic School, Cresson, Cambria County

Third Place: Aubrey Strait, Saint Michael School, Loretto, Cambria County

Grades 3 – 5

First Place: Yanning (Maria) Jiao, Franklin Elementary School, Sewickley, Allegheny County

Second Place: Hermiony Valdes, Fairview Elementary School, New Cumberland, Cumberland County

Third Place: McKayla Winkler, Philadelphia Academy Charter School, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County

Grades 6 – 8

First Place: Madison Urick, St. John the Evangelist Regional Catholic School, Uniontown, Fayette County

Second Place: Derek Domidica, Saint Michael School, Loretto, Cambria County

Third Place: Ashanti Zayas, Grover Washington Middle School, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County

Also during today’s ceremony, PennDOT Bureau of Driver Licensing Director Kara Templeton and Lt. Robert Krol, Director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Division in the Bureau of Patrol for the Pennsylvania State Police, presented certificates and Governor’s citations to six school bus drivers for winning the 2017 Pennsylvania School Bus Driver Safety Competition.

Held each June, the competition tests school bus drivers’ knowledge of safety rules and safe operation of their buses.

“Bus drivers do an extraordinary job every day ensuring the safety of our children as they travel to and from school,” said Lt. Krol. “These drivers serve as a model for all school bus drivers and this recognition further reinforces the trust parents have in them.”

2017 PA School Bus Driver Safety Competition Winners:

Conventional Bus

First Place: Shanon O’Brien, Chester County; Krapf Bus Companies

Second Place: Ruth Del Vecchio, Chester County; Krapf Bus Companies

Third Place: Larry Hannon, Sr., Bucks County; Centennial School District

Transit Style Bus

First Place: Ted Dubbs, Montgomery County; Lower Merion School District

Second Place: Cheryl Vogelsang, Chester County; Eagle Wolfington

Third Place: Arlen Sanden, Centre County; Fullington Bus Company

For more information about school bus safety, visit PennDOT’s highway safety website, www.penndot.gov/safety, select the “Traffic Safety and Driver Topics” tab then select the “School Bus Safety” tab. The website also offers an interactive video illustrating Pennsylvania’s school bus stopping law.