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Safety efforts earn Herkimer BOCES Utica National’s School Safety Excellence Award

April 15, 2019

Adam Hutchinson holding a safety award certificate in his office

Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Health and Safety Service Coordinator Adam Hutchinson poses in his office with a School Safety Excellence Award that Herkimer BOCES won from Utica National Insurance Group.

SYRACUSE – Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES recently received Utica National Insurance Group’s School Safety Excellence Award for 2019 at the Titanium with Honors level.

Utica National Insurance Group presents the honor annually to recognize school districts’ safety efforts as they work to help keep students, staff and visitors safe.

“Safety and health concerns continue to be a priority in our school districts,” said Brian Saville, resident senior vice president in Utica National’s Educational Institutions Unit. “Districts that go ‘above and beyond’ to provide a safe, healthy and focused culture for learning are to be applauded, and we’re pleased to county Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES among them.”

Herkimer BOCES received the award on March 19 at Utica National’s 39th annual school safety seminar at the Syracuse DoubleTree in East Syracuse. It was one of seven such seminars the company hosts in the state.

Officials from Herkimer BOCES accepted a certificate to commemorate the safety efforts and a $500 award for use in furthering those efforts from Utica National representatives.

Herkimer BOCES is one of 156 school districts and BOCES in New York state to receive Utica National Insurance Group’s “School Safety Excellence Award” for 2019 at the Titanium with Honors level. For over 40 years, Utica National has kept kids and school staff safe and currently insures more than 300 school districts in Upstate New York alone.

Utica National’s School Safety Excellence Award Program has three levels – titanium, platinum and gold – in which schools can earn a meritorious distinction by meeting specific criteria to enhance overall safety. Through the program, schools with their own transportation, schools with contract transportation and BOCES are evaluated. Categories covered include bullying prevention programs, playground safety and other areas. They are measured using specific, quantifiable surveys.

Saville said that beyond the recognition itself, an added benefit of following the safety program is the chance to pinpoint specific threats to safety.

“The time to address those threats is before a loss happens, which really helps contribute to the safety culture that districts are working toward,” Saville said.