Val Hartwell | I Tell Everyone I Bleed Yellow

Employee Spotlights

I Bleed Yellow
For nearly 30 years, Val Hartwell has worked to provide the best start and finish to the school day for generations of students. “School busing has been in my blood for most of my life,” shares Val. “It is what I truly care about. I tell everyone I bleed yellow.”

Drawing Inspiration
Val began her career in the student transportation industry as a driver in 1988. She remembers doing “anything and everything” when she first started in the business. Val helped out in dispatch and even volunteered to clean the buses at the location. Her commitment and passion helped drive her career forward to trainer and eventually to her current role as senior region safety manager for Eastern Canada. “The people are what I like most about working for First Student,” says Val. “My colleagues truly inspire me. Everyone cares for one another and is very dedicated. We have so many creative people in this company, and I love to share their ideas with the rest of the world.”

Doing Things Right
Val is responsible for ensuring our locations in Eastern Canada operate safely while being in compliance with all laws and regulations. With safety as a core company value, Val knows the key role she plays every time a child boards a First Student bus. “The children are the most important of all,” believes Val. “I need to make sure we are doing things right so those children get to and from school safely.”

The Safest Company
Val recognizes that our students and our drivers are at the heart of everything we do. Her passion and dedication to their safety makes a difference in their lives, and she would not have it any other way. “First Student works hard to be the safest company. Our ‘Be Safe’ training is one of our best programs. Using positive reinforcement with our drivers will reduce injuries and collisions. I am a firm believer of treating our people right, and look forward to more safety initiatives that ensure we care for students today, tomorrow, together.”

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