School Bus Fleet

November 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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44 S C H O O L B U S F L E E T • N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 4 Jeanne Vandemark Director of Transportation Mesa Public Schools Mesa, Arizona How did you get your start in the school bus industry? As a fight attendant, I worked days, nights, weekends and holidays. I had a friend that worked for a school district who told me that if I wanted a Monday through Friday job with no weekends or holidays, a school district was the way to go. She told me that districts were consistently hiring school bus driv- ers and I should apply at one. I chose to apply at Mesa Public Schools, and the rest is history! Current job duties? As the director of transportation, I oversee the entire opera- tion. We have three satellite sites, each of which has its own ve- hicle maintenance department. In all, we have approximately 891 employees, 543 school buses and 467 white feet vehicles. Top achievements? Working my way up to the position I am currently in at Mesa Public Schools. I started with driving a special-education school bus and worked in nearly every part of transportation. Personally, my greatest achievement and joy has been raising my daughter, Aspen. As a single mother, it is imperative that I dedicate time to be involved in her education. I am proud to say she is now in her second year of college. Outside interests? I have a great love for music, trees, mountains, outdoor exer- cise and movies. How did your job as a fight attendant prepare you for student transportation? Each time you walk onto an aircraft, you meet new people. You only have a moment, as they board, to infuence how they perceive you. A friendly hello and a smile helps to promote a positive experience. You must get your customers safely to their destination in a timely manner. Our transportation department is charged with the safe and timely transport of students every day. As the students board the school bus, you say hello and give them a smile. You help set the tone for their day. Something people would be surprised to learn about you? I am a Disneyland expert. Joshua Hinerman Former Director of Transportation Wilson County Schools Lebanon, Tennessee How did you get your start in the school bus industry? In high school, I made a trip to the local school bus garage in Marshall County, Tennessee, and interviewed Johnny Flynt, who has since retired as transportation supervisor. I was com- pleting a midterm paper on the history of the yellow school bus and wanted to ask a few questions pertaining to his many years in the industry. I told Mr. Flynt that I wanted to drive a bus be- cause my great-grandmother drove. Mr. Flynt took my phone number and birthday information, and when I turned 21 he called me and said, "Josh, this is Johnny. Are you still interested in driving a bus?" I was so excited and said, "Yes, sir!" Current job duties? I oversee all the transportation needs for the Wilson County Board of Education. We have a department of over 200 employ- ees, a feet of 189 buses and our district transports approximate- ly 13,000 students to and from school daily. I also am a third- party CDL examiner. Getting out on the bus is always a breath of fresh air, as it keeps me humble and reminds me of the many challenges that the drivers endure on a daily basis. Top achievements? There are many, but completing my transportation man- agement certifcation is by far one of my biggest goals. I com- pleted college, which was very important to me. When I ar- rived in Wilson County, inter- viewed for operations/safety manager and received the job, I can still recall the sense of over- whelming joy when the then- transportation director called and offered the job to me. Sev- eral months after joining the Wilson County transportation team, I was appointed to be the new director of transportation. Most interesting place you've been? I visited very few places growing up, as we simply did not have the means. Washington, D.C., was an amazing trip for me while I was in high school. I was so impressed with all of the beautiful architecture and the history of our amazing nation. Most interesting or strangest job you've had? I worked at Lowe's for over seven years. Not really a strange job, but it was fun! It was at Lowe's that I learned the value of customer service. Jeanne Vandemark was a fight attendant before she entered the pupil transporta- tion feld. Joshua Hinerman describes himself as a "bus nut." He's pictured here at a Greyhound event. Born: Davenport, Iowa Home: Tempe, Arizona Years in industry: 23 Born: Medina, Ohio Home: Lebanon, Tennessee Years in industry: 12 Fascinating Personalities

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