Local school board wins top bus award for 12th year in a row
TRURO - The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board has been awarded another transportation-related award.
The Nova Scotia Pupil Transportation Gold Achievement Award was recently awarded to the school board's transportation department based on bus driving safety, updated training and regular inspections, to name a few. It's the 12th year in a row the school board has received the accolades.
"It's quite a feat," said Sandy Lynds, co-ordinator of transportation for the school board. "It's based on a point system and all boards received gold this year, but I believe there are very few, if any others, who can say they got gold that many years in a row."
Lynds has been employed with the board for 19 years and is a former school bus driver. He said it's more than just keeping a bus safely on the road that earns a gold standing.
"Drivers are the first and last ones to meet students and you learn a lot about them; you can connect with students," Lynds said. "You can become a guardian in some cases and see them grow and become a part of their lives."
Bill Bezanson, a one-year driver with the school board, agrees with Lynds that bus drivers can have a profound affect on the lives of youngsters.
"Sometimes drivers can spot anxieties in children and can point them out to teachers and the board if needed," said Bezanson. "There's a respect between students and drivers ... the best part of the job is knowing you are a part of the system. It doesn't matter the problems through the day, I've done my job and kept the kids safe."
Bezanson transports about 100 children through Brookfield, Truro and Hilden.
Kemptown's Leah Landsberg has been a bus driver with the school board for five years. She said it's the best job she's ever had.
"I wouldn't want a job anywhere else. It's awesome and underestimated how important this job is and how well we do it," said Landsberg, who typically has about 70 children on her bus routes throughout Old Barns, North River, Bible Hill, Truro and Onslow Mountain.
Landsberg says there are some misconceptions she'd like to see
"People think the children are rambunctious but they're not ... (and) there needs to be more awareness in general about other drivers. Drivers go through our flashing red lights all the time and that is not a safe