RSS students among state bus safety poster contest winners

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 28, 2014

Two Rowan-Salisbury School System students were among four statewide who received top honors in North Carolina’s 2014 National School Bus Safety Week Poster Contest.
Sydney Steelman, who is in fourth grade at Morgan Elementary School, won the grades 3-5 category, while Grissel Hernandez, a sixth-grader at Southeast Middle School, won the contest for grades 6-8. They join Sara Maw, of Franklinton Elementary in the Franklin County Schools, who won for grades K-2, and Leonard Johnson, of Liberty Middle School in the Burke County Schools, who won in the special education category.
Two other Rowan-Salisbury students also placed highly in the contest. Baydn Sweatt, a third-grader at Morgan Elementary, came in second in the grades 3-5 category, and Victoria Amaro, an eighth-grader at Southeast Middle, took second place in the grades 6-8 category.
The contest theme — “Be Smart — Be Seen, I Wait in a Safe Place!” — emphasizes that students should stay safe at their school bus stop — most importantly, waiting back from the roadway and preparing to board in a single file. If the bus stop is on the opposite side of the road, students should make eye contact with the bus driver before stepping into the roadway.
“The message to students, as reflected in this year’s poster theme, is clear: stay safe by making sure you can be seen by the school bus driver and other motorists,” Derek Graham, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s Transportation Services Section chief, said in a news release.
“Because some motorists break the law and do not stop for the school bus stop sign,” Graham continued, “students must be aware and take extra care at the bus stop and especially when crossing the street.”
Graham added that students participating in this year’s contest learned the importance of school bus safety rules as they worked on their posters.
Each of the first place winners will receive a plaque featuring his or her artwork and a school bus safety puzzle, also featuring the student’s winning poster. Winning posters are featured on the state’s School Bus Safety website,, under “New to Web Site.” First place winners also will compete in the National School Bus Safety Poster Contest.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program sponsor the annual School Bus Safety Poster contest. For more information on school bus safety, visit