A Westerville Huber Ridge Elementary School fifth-grader has been inducted into the AAA School Safety Hall of Fame, thanks to his efforts to keep classmates safe.
Trenton Sherwood was one of only 10 students from around the state inducted into the AAA School Safety Patrol Hall of Fame May 11 at Huntington Park, 330 Huntington Park Lane, in Columbus.
AAA Ohio Auto Club selected the students out of nearly 8,000 Ohio AAA School Safety Patrollers, said Kimberly Schwind, a AAA senior manager in public affairs.
Each year, the club selects up to 10 school safety-patrol students for induction into the hall as a way to acknowledge how they exemplify the spirit and purpose of the AAA School Safety Patrol.
"Trenton is a breath of fresh air and his enthusiasm and leadership skills show every day by arriving on time and making sure everybody is doing their job without overstepping his authority," said Patty Ryther, Huber Ridge safety-patrol adviser.
She said Trenton noticed right away the school was short on patrol members and volunteered to be on duty daily when school is in session since the beginning of the year.
Ryther said she has 19 patrols from the fourth grade and only 12 patrols from the fifth grade.
After being inducted into the hall, Sherwood said, he thinks he did his job correctly.
"I feel really good about getting it," he said. "I feel like I did it correctly and did a good job."
Not only was he inducted, but he also was given the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at the May 11 game when the Columbus Clippers took on Syracuse and won 3-1.
Kellie O'Riordan, AAA Ohio Auto Club traffic-safety program manager, said a banquet was held for the 10 inductees, all of whom were nominated by their advisers or school principals.
She said the game night celebrates all club safety-patrol members.
Other inductees from central Ohio include Adyson Lipan and Anthony Klette from Dunloe Elementary School in Columbus and Celeste Newton and Ryllan Williams from Tyler Run Elementary School in Powell.
Schwind said patrol students from across the state were invited to attend the game at a discounted rate, and all students had a chance to parade around the bases before it began.
The hall's inductees remained on the field after the parade for recognition, as announcers read their names over the loudspeaker.
"Each inductee received a medallion and certificate of merit, and they were invited along with their families to celebrate their success as a school safety-patrol member," O'Riordan said.
She said the amount of leadership, responsibility and maturity in each of the students is remarkable.
"The fact that they are in fourth and fifth grade stands out to all of us at AAA Ohio Auto Club but also to their community members," O'Riordan said. "The dedication that they exhibit proves that they already have the compassion, awareness and protective nature that typically takes individuals years to develop. They are the best of the best among our AAA Ohio Auto Club patrol members."
The AAA School Safety Patrol, founded in 1920, is the largest safety program in the world, with 654,000 patrollers in 34,500 schools all wearing the familiar 'Lectric Lime belts or vests, according to Schwind.
Student patrol members are typically in fourth, fifth or sixth grade, and are leaders in their schools, she said.
The students volunteer their time to help their peers make it to and from school safely, Schwind said.
For additional information visit AAA.com/SafetyPatrol.