ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD
Ken Mulder, Director of Transportation for the Special School District (SSD) of St. Louis County, was named the 2013 Administrator of the Year at the 48th Annual M.A.P.T. Conference and Trade Show held recently in Columbia, MO. During his transportation career, Kenny has been a bus mechanic, the manager of a large contracted school bus operation, and for the last seven years, SSD's Director of Transportation. Kenny is also a past president of M.A.P.T. and currently serves on the Board of Directors of both M.A.P.T. and NAPT (National Association for Pupil Transportation). Active outside the industry as well as within, Kenny is a Deacon in his church and an officer of the local Harley Davidson club.
During the Awards Luncheon on Thursday, July 11, Jennifer Simpson, Director of Transportation for Wentzville School District and last year's Administrator of the Year, presented the award to Kenny. Members of his family, his boss, the CFO at SSD, and M.A.P.T. members from across the state were in attendance for the presentation. To read a copy of the letter from Kenny's boss in support of his nomination, click here.
Kenny Mulder, 2013 Administrator of the Year, with outgoing M.A.P.T. President Joe Syefarth
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
Bob Pekarek closed out his 26-year career in pupil transportation in June. During his tenure as the Transportation Director for the West Plains R-VII School District, Bob and his team consistently scored above the state average on the spring State Highway Patrol School Bus Inspections, often achieving a perfect 100% approval rating. In 2010, M.A.P.T. recognized Bob’s dedication to the profession and to the safety of the students in his district by naming him the Administrator of the Year.
In addition to his work with the school district, Bob is active in the West Plains community. The transportation department, under his leadership, decorates and enters at least one bus in the annual Christmas parade, and Bob, a member of the West Plains Rotary Club, participates in the “Friday Backpack Program.”
In recognition of his long and illustrious career in pupil transportation, M.A.P.T. is pleased to present Bob Pekarek a Distinguished Service Award.
SCHOOL BUS DRIVER OF THE YEAR AWARD
This year, for the first time, the School Bus Driver of the Year Award went to a team. Sue Ciskowski, Special Needs Driver and Sandy Morfeld, Bus Attendant, from the Parkway School District, are the co-recipients of the award.
Sue Ciskowski (in floral print shirt) and Sandy Mofeld (in purple jacket)
Sue Ciskowski - Driver
Sue Ciskowski is a beacon of safety for the Parkway school district. She has been driving for 13 years – 12 of those years without a preventable / chargeable accident. She has competed several times in safety competitions. In 2009 she took third place in the “rookie” division and was a member of the team that took home the second-place team trophy in the St. Louis regional competition. While Sue and the team did not fare as well at the state level, they made many new friends, and the memorable experiences of the state school bus safety competition will last a lifetime.
Sandra Morfeld – Bus Attendant
Sandy Morfeld gets it. She understands the tremendous daily challenges of special needs children and their families. She knows there are good and bad days. Yet, somehow, everyday Sandy is ready to handle both. It’s not complicated; at the heart of Sandy’s motivation are the children. For that half-hour or so on the bus she cares about the kids like they are her own. Sandy is not on the bus for a ride-along and paycheck. She makes parents feel good about their children riding the bus. You can see it in their faces at every bus stop.
A recent note from a parent about Sue and Sandy read, in part “Sue and Sandy are the most friendly, kind and compassionate women. Every day they greet my child with a smile and hugs. They never rush her into her seat and although they have had to deal with her crying, screaming and even incontinence problems this year, they do so cheerfully.” This parent’s sentiments epitomize what is so special about Sue and Sandy. They care about the students they transport in a way that transcends just driving a bus and doing their jobs. It is personal for them both.
Sue and Sandy are a great team. Together they are making a difference and living up to this year’s conference theme: Children - The Heart of Transportation. They represent student transportation in the best possible way.
SCHOOL BUS SAFETY POSTER CONTEST
At the 2013 M.A.P.T. Conference and Trade Show, safety posters depicting the theme AT MY STOP, YOU STOP submitted by students around the state were judged. Winning entries were chosen in each of the following categories: Division # 1 (Grades K-2) Division # 2 (Grades 3-5) Division # 3 (Grades 6-8) Division # 4 (Special Education). The winning posters will be forwarded to the National Association for Pupil Transportation. NAPT will select the national winning poster to be used during National School Bus Safety Week. In addition, the winning young artists receive Wal Mart gift cards.
Division 1: Lillian Clark (grade 2) Lewis and Clark Elementary, Liberty, MO
Teacher: Ms. Lynn Pierce
Division 2: Kiley Daniels (grade 5) Lewis and Clark Elementary, Liberty, MO
Teacher: Ms. Lynn Pierce
Division 3: Julian Banuelos (grade 7) Paseo Academy of Fine and
Performing Arts, Kansas City, MO Teacher: Ms. Sahl
Division 4: Jordan Ball, Scarlet Hughes, and Chelsea Phillys
Trails West School, Grandview, MO Teacher: Ms. Suzette Davie
M.A.P.T. congratulates the winning artists and thanks all of the students who submitted posters in this year's Safety Poster Contest. We would also like to extend a special THANK YOU to the teachers who allowed and encouraged their students to participate. We sincerely appreciate that, in addition to working on their art skills, you helped these students gain a greater understanding of school bus safety.