Some real bus driving milestones
KCSOS school bus driver Sheila Cazares had to fight back her emotions after receiving her CHP 1,288,592 miles safe driving award and the congratulations of Officer Von Cain and Transportation Services Director Paul Linder.
Kern County Superintendent of Schools Larry E. Reider (right) and Asst. Superintendent Tom Valos had every reason to share a smile with bus drivers Becky Bowers, Tomi Etcheverry and David Register, who have gone 19 consecutive years without an accident.
Sheila Cazares and Jane Frando know how much their peers admire what they have done in their long careers as school bus drivers for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools. Both received standing ovations when their names were announced as recipients of safe driving awards during ceremonies held at Sequoia Middle School in Bakersfield on Aug. 13. The two are among an elite group of just seven drivers who have been a part of KCSOS Transportation Services since it began busing students from home-to-school in 1981. The others are Judy Fike, Julia Beverly, Carrie Boschini, Pat Jackson-Shaw and Julia Hughes.
Imagine driving the equivalent of 52 times around the world. Then, factor in no accidents and what you have is Cazares’ amazing driving record. She has logged almost 1.3 million miles driving her school bus without being involved in a preventable accident. Officer Von Cain, representing the California Highway Patrol (CHP), presented Cazares with the CHP Safe Driving Award, which is given to drivers each time they surpass 100,000 miles without a preventable accident. Cazares has accumulated quite a few.
As Cazares walked down the aisle amid boisterous applause and a standing ovation, Cain told the audience, “Sheila, I can’t even fathom that much mileage, and without an accident? I thought I drove a lot in my patrol car, but it is nothing compared to what you have accomplished.”
There were 11 others honored for surpassing 100,000 mile, non-accident plateaus. They all have a ways to go to match Cazares. Hughes is the closest with 988,000 miles and, along with Frando, shares the distinction of having driven their entire 27 year careers without any accidents. Hughes was, ironically, out doing her job and missed out on the other standing ovation Frando received as she accepted her 27 year Safe Driving Pin from Kern County Superintendent of Schools Larry E. Reider.
Not far behind Frando and Hughes is Julia Beverly, who was honored for 24 years of accident-free driving and took the opportunity to tell the younger drivers in the audience, “You first year drivers are probably saying, ‘how can I do that?’ You can. Just remember to be careful out there.”
Safe Driving Pins are given for each year a driver has gone without being involved in an accident of any kind. Ten drivers, Melanie Ogle, Robin Bolin, Charlotte Gonzales, David Register, Tomi Etcheverry, Becky Bowers, Cazares, Jackson-Shaw, Frando and Hughes are in that select category. Fifty-nine drivers received Safe Driving Pins starting with one year and going up to 27.
Also honored for their service in making sure students get safely to school and home again were several transportation aides, who have served in that role from one to 10 years. Theirs is an important role on buses that transport special needs children.
“Transporting children is much more involved than it was years ago,” Transportation Services Director Paul Linder reminded his audience of drivers and aides. “Back then, drivers pretty much had to do it all without the help of aides.”
Reider summed up the importance of all of those honored by telling them, “You are just fabulous for what you have chosen to do everyday of your lives. You get up when it’s still dark, drive in snow, rain and on gravelly roads. It is a tough, tough job, and no one does it better than you. If it were not for you, our children wouldn’t be in school, which means they wouldn’t be learning. That is why I want to be at this ceremony each year — to let you know how much I really appreciate what you do.”
CHP 100,000 Mile Safe Driving Awards
Jon Moule 123,068
Ronnie Dixon 136,956
Rebecca Fabbri 205,735
Karen Snyder 239,957
Terri Rocha 274,577
Charlotte Gonzales 349,953
Shirley Wammock 430,476
Patricia Jackson-Shaw 689,800
Judy Fike 736,111
Carolina Boschini 803,660
Julia Hughes 988,861
Sheila Cazares 1,288,592
KCSOS Years of Safe Driving Pins
Terri Smith, Jessica Tuck, Damon Anglin and Sherry Hodson
Jon Moule, Marleny Reyes, Dianna Ervin and Dena Aldean
Daniel Beechley, Teresa Coleman, Dana Yasin, Landon Langston, Susan Neufeld and La Shun Dickerson
Lynda Graham, Melissa Martin, Connie Castruita and Dawn Robles
Louise Burnett, Carolyn Towery, Ada Thomas, Ronnie Dixon, Christy Butler, Jenene Shears and Sharon Famie
Deanna Harvey and Rebecca Fabbri
Amabeli Zuniga, Karen Snyder and Ken Hayen
Trish Weedon, John Young, Terri Rocha, Terri Gamble, Melissa Ramay, Teresa Clark, Keisha Dean and Stormi Raines
Darlene Wood, Melanie Ogle and Robin Bolin
Virginia Jones and Robyrt Gridiron
David Register, Tomi Etcheverry and Becky Bowers
Julia Beverly and Carrie Boschini
Sheila Cazares and Pat Jackson-Shaw
Jane Frando and Julia Hughes
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