John Vander Sluis Moves On

John displays his CDC award.

This month, our highly successful Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) Safe Routes to School project wraps up.  Over 1500 low-income elementary school students received bicycle and pedestrian safety skills training at 17 schools in south King County as a result of this program.  Sadly for us, this also means that project manager John Vander Sluis is moving on.

John worked tirelessly for eighteen months with school district personnel, teachers, city planners, parents, volunteers and staff. His expertise, his willingness to tackle every detail and to do it with good cheer will be missed by everyone,” declared Bicycle Alliance ED Barbara Culp.  “My only regret is lack of funding to keep this stellar project manager.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recognized John’s outstanding efforts by naming him a Safe Routes to School champion.  The commendation praised his strategic thinking and efforts to advance SRTS policies and programming.
“I’m most pleased with the ability of the project to bring people together,” John reflected.  “We used the opportunity to facilitate conversations between parents, school districts, and city agencies that I think will lead to long term benefits for children.”
John had many memorable moments from his tenure with the Bicycle Alliance.  He recalled how the teachers in the first train-the-trainer session learned their parking lot drills in the pouring rain.  That’s dedication!  A Tukwila school displayed their SRTS fleet of bikes at an evening event and kids were dragging their parents over to view the bikes.  Children were proudly telling their parents which bike they rode in class.
“I’ve appreciated the spirit and energy people bring to the Bicycle Alliance, and how much they are willing to do to make it safer for kids to walk and bike,” John added.
What’s next for John now that the project has wrapped up?
“I get to spend time with my wife,” he said.  “She works nights and weekends so this will be the first time in a long time that we get to spend some real time together.”
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