PETERMANN BUS DRIVER NAMED THE 2014 SCHOOL BUS DRIVER OF THE YEAR BY THE OHIO ASSOCIATION FOR PUPIL TRANSPORTATION
Mary Wooldridge, a Petermann Bus school bus driver for Madison Local Schools in Butler County, received the George Sontag, Jr. Award for School Bus Driver of the Year by the Ohio Association for Pupil Transportation. Wooldridge is being recognized for saving the lives of two elementary students on her bus earlier this year.
On Jan. 30, Wooldridge approached a bus stop on Franklin Madison Road. As she does daily, she reviewed the road crossing safety procedure with the students before they exited her bus. She waited for an oncoming car to a complete stop for the bus stop arm and then allowed the students to exit the bus. They remained on the side of the road until Woodridge signaled them to cross—as she instructed them to do. As they were approaching the middle of the road, Wooldridge noticed a pick up truck coming toward the bus and driving too fast to stop. Wooldridge blew her bus horn, yelled and motioned for the students to go back to the side of the road. The first student did immediately, but the second student froze for a moment. The truck could not stop in time and struck the back of the stopped car. As the second student began to turn back, the truck pushed the car in front of the bus within one to two feet of her. She was not hit by the car, but was hit with debris. The students’ father witnessed the incident and gratefully gave Wooldridge a lengthy hug and thanked her for protecting his children.
Wooldridge, who has been driving a bus for Petermann for five years, was nominated by Bryan Howard, Director of Transportation at Petermann. “Mary is an exemplary employee. Her quick thinking, dedication to student safety and diligent application of numerous hours of safety training to her everyday routine saved two students’ lives.”
Wooldridge was chosen among nominees across the state. The award recognizes school bus drivers who exhibit outstanding leadership and professional conduct in the school transportation field in the State of Ohio. Jeff Vrabel, Sr., President of the Ohio Association for Pupil Transportation, commended Woodridge saying, “I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award. Mary did what she was trained to do, and the students did as she instructed. Her actions to protect students, in all probability, saved their lives. She is to be commended, honored, and thanked for what she did and continues to do on a daily basis.”
Wooldridge received her award March 17 at a special ceremony in Dublin, Ohio.
About our company
Durham School Services, Stock Transportation and Petermann Bus make up National Express Corporation (NEC), headquartered in Warrenville, Ill. As a leader in student transportation, NEC is committed to exceptional safety, outstanding customer service and positive employee relations. Durham and Petermann (United States) and Stock (Canada) operate more than 20,000 buses and serve 450 school districts in 32 states and four provinces. Our success rests with our dedicated employees who live our mission: “Getting kids to school safely, on time and ready to learn.” For more information, visit www.nationalexpresscorp.com.