Michelle Pelchat of Hope Valley was inducted into the Student Transportation of America's "Wall of Fame" at a ceremony that took place in in Charleston, S.C. in March. The award is the company’s highest and most prestigious honor. STA, a leader in school transportation, safety and fleet services is the parent company to the local pupil transportation provider Ocean State Transit.
“Michelle is willing to take on any task, and does it graciously. She leads by example,” said Lillian Benoit, Branch Manager for STA’s operation in Chariho. “She is respected and liked by employees, customers and parents. She is everything STA could ask for in a representative.”
Pelchat, with more than 18 years of experience in the school transportation industry, was chosen for the award based on her impeccable record and dedication to safety and her community. She has trained dozens of school bus drivers within the State of Rhode Island, with the majority of her trainees still working with Ocean State Transit and exhibiting a safety record attributable directly to her training.
Pelchat prepares and presents monthly safety meetings and training sessions, helps keep driver files in compliance, and aided with program training for the company’s digital compliance and credentialing system in 2018. When she was promoted to assistant manager of the Chariho operation, one of her roles was to oversee a new contract with the Rhode Island Department of Education, which provides out-of-district and special needs transportation for several different areas in the state. Pelchat dove headfirst into making this start-up a success, and received a Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Dedication and Leadership.
Outside of the school bus yard, for the past five years Pelchat has been a co-caption of Ocean State Transit’s Relay for Life team, Busloads of Hope, organizing bake sales and raffles and helping to raise significant amounts of money for the cause. Previously, Pelchat worked with the Hope Valley Fire Department's auxiliary, putting on dinners and raising funds.
“I was really surprised to be selected for this honor,” Pelchat said of her nomination to the Safety “Wall of Fame”. “In my opinion, the entire management team for the state of Rhode Island has earned this award, and I'm happy to bring it home to all of them."