More than 400 school bus drivers, monitors, mechanics, and transportation office staff turned out for Catoosa County Schools‘ bus safety summit on Monday, Aug. 5.
The full-day training, held at The Colonnade in Ringgold, brought participants from schools in Catoosa, Walker and Dade counties.
The Georgia Department of Education Transportation Division, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration/US Department of Transportation, and the Georgia Department of Public Safety/Motor Carrier Compliance Division coordinated to provide the training.
The day also included visits from Wesley Ross, field team member for Gov. Brian Kemp; Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan; state Sen. Jeff Mullis; state Rep. Dewayne Hill; Catoosa Sheriff Gary Sisk; and Catoosa County Judge Jeff Hullender.
Catoosa County Schools Superintendent Denia Reese presented plaques to Kemp’s representative and Lt. Gov. Duncan in appreciation for Senate Bill 25, the first bill signed into law in 2019, which clearly defines rules for when traffic stops for a school bus that is loading or unloading students. The event was funded by donations from local business partners.
In 2018, Catoosa County Schools was awarded the Georgia School Bus Safety Award from the Georgia Department of Education. Comprehensive training, like the one on Aug. 5, contributed to the district being recognized for training practices, workplace culture, driver retention and recognition tactics.