School Bus Fleet

October 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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Page 47 of 75

Salem-Keizer launches cyclist safety campaign, cuts idling by 60% Salem-Keizer Public Schools realized a number of accomplishments over the past year. Michael Shields, the Salem, Oregon, district's director of transporta- tion and auxiliary services, turned an unfortunate experience into a positive outcome after a bicyclist complained about one of the district's buses and a near miss. Shields' team invited the cyclist to participate in educating the district's drivers through a campaign, and his team cre- ated a bicycle-bus safety awareness poster in collaboration with Oregon Department of Transportation and the Oregon Bike Racing Association. Meanwhile, the feet, safety and facilities team reduced excessive idling by 60%, and the transportation team reduced accidents by 59%, added a fourth camera to all buses to improve student safety, and col- laborated with technology and purchasing teams to buy and implement new routing software and a subscription for GPS service on district buses and 299 selected vehicles. Additionally, the administration and operations team had three mem- bers elected to posts at the Oregon Pupil Transportation Association. with children," Vandemark said. Vandemark ended up driving a special-education route for 10 years. She was also a support supervisor for fve years, and a satellite supervisor for the largest yard in the district for eight years. She said of her new position: "I am learning every day. I love working for Jeanne Vandemark has taken over the role of director of transportation at Mesa (Ariz.) Public Schools from Ron Latko, with whom she worked close- ly, and who retired in May. Vande- mark originally hails from Davenport, Iowa, and moved to Arizona in the late 1980s. Before joining Mesa Public Schools, she was a fight attendant for America West Airlines. "I loved the people and the travel, but I worked a lot of weekends and holidays," she said. A friend suggest- ed that she apply to a school district for a Monday-to-Friday job as a bus driver. She was "shocked at the idea," she recalled, but fgured if she quali- fed to work on several different series of aircraft, she might be able to drive a school bus. She called the district and found that it was hiring drivers for special-education routes as well as general education. "I was well versed with special- needs passengers at the airlines, and I thought I would really love working Mesa Public Schools, and I look for- ward to the future." A recent initiative that took place on Vandemark's watch was car seat dona- tions to the district from the local police and fre department. The departments worked with Mesa Public Schools and the local news outlet on a back-to- school safety awareness video. 40 S C H O O L B U S F L E E T • O C T O B E R 2 0 1 4 SBF TOP 100 NEWS New director takes helm at Arizona district Police and fre offcials donated car seats to Mesa Public Schools (MPS) and worked with the district on a safety video. From left: Douglas Darbyshire of MPS, Mesa police offcer Mike Ybarra, Jeanne Vandemark of MPS, Jean DeStories of Mesa Fire Department, and MPS' David Woods. This bicycle-bus safety awareness poster and others like it can be or- dered from Salem-Keizer Public Schools' auxiliary services department. Go to

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