safety award

From left: Vice Chairman David Moeller, Jack Sims, Chairman Don Dycus, Safety and Training Coordinator Herby Worley, Transportation Manager Jerene Jones, State Director of Transportation Pat Schofill, Superintendent Denia Reese, Suzan Gibson, Gloria Hunt, and Director of Transportation Mike Rich. / Contributed

According to the Georgia Department of Education, “Each year, nearly one million students and their parents rely on Georgia’s school buses to provide safe and dependable transportation to and from school. State School Superintendent Richard Woods directed his staff to develop an award to honor school districts for going ‘above and beyond’ to provide safe pupil transportation.”

Catoosa County was one of eight recipients of this prestigious award. Winners were selected based in eight divisions based on enrollment size. The winning districts were selected by a panel of judges, based on an application which evaluated a number of factors that impact bus safety. Those factors include but are not limited to: completing safety training, evacuation drills, and other safety initiatives with students; evaluation of accidents and internal practices to prevent accidents; and innovative initiatives used to inspire safe practices, hire and retrain drivers, and enhance student safety.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our children, and making sure they can travel safely and arrive at school ready to learn,” Superintendent Woods said. “Our drivers and transportation employees work harder than many ever realize, and they’re an integral part of our educational system. From my experience as a high school principal who was CDL-certified to drive a school bus, to my vantage point as State School Superintendent seeing over and over the immense importance of safe student transportation, I knew I wanted to create a recognition for our districts going above and beyond to ensure their students’ safety. These eight school districts are doing tough, innovative work and deserve to be commended.”

Superintendent Denia Reese said, “I am so proud of the initiatives transportation manager Jerene Jones has in place that enabled Catoosa County Public Schools to be considered for this award. I appreciate our bus drivers’ dedication to providing safe transportation and also their positive influence in the lives of our students.”

State Director of Transportation Pat Schofill presented the award to the Catoosa County Board of Education, Superintendent Denia Reese, Director of Transportation Mike Rich, and Transportation Manager Jerene Jones.