Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) recently recognized the district’s transportation professionals for their service to Gwinnett students and their families. Highlighting the evening event was the recognition of Tom Reinhardt, Ray Hushon, and Linda Ward who were named School Bus Managers and Monitor of the Year.
2017-2018 Regular Education Bus Manager of the Year
Having joined the school district three years ago, Tom drives routes for Discovery High School, Richards Middle School, and Baggett and Benefield elementary schools. He says his job allows him to do two things he enjoys the most— driving and interacting with others. He adds, "Every day I get the privilege and honor to have a positive impact on the lives of my students."
2017-2018 Special Education Bus Manager of the Year
Ray Hushon enjoys his work transporting students with special needs in the North Gwinnett and Lanier clusters, as well as students who attend Northbrook Center and the GIVE Center. He shares, "I try to make their bus ride a learning experience; I know it is one for me."
2017-2018 Special Education Bus Monitor of the Year
Linda Ward has served for three years as a bus monitor. When asked why she does this job, she refers to the flexible schedule and the ability it gives her to make a difference in a child’s life. She shares heart-warming stories of how special it is to bring joy to some of her students’ days. "They may not be able to speak but they are full of laughter," she says.
The selection of the 2017-2018 winners is the result of an extensive process. First, they were nominated by their colleagues in their transportation zone. There are 25 regular education zones and 12 special education zones. Nominees then were given a written and driving skills test. Eleven finalists were selected – five regular education bus managers, three special education bus managers, and three special education bus monitors. A judging committee selected the winners from the finalists.
Transportation Director Don Moore applauded the efforts of all staff who safely transport Gwinnett students to and from school. In recognizing this year’s winners and others recognized at the banquet, he said, "As a school district, we cannot focus on teaching and learning if students are not at school. Our bus drivers ensure their students arrive safely, on time, and ready to learn. They are the best of the best and we appreciate all that they do for the school system and the students we serve."