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and Reinvestment Act. He ran a task force on leveraging tech- nology to improve literacy and to arm children with the tools needed to survive in the 21st Century. But he soon became frustrated by the polarization of politics. “Te sequester and so much else going on in our society is of

our own doing,” he said. At the same time, he said the things that really matter —

Conference and Trade Show

such as education and infrastructure — are being pushed aside. Kwon began to re-evaluate if politics was indeed the best way for him to affect change, and that’s about the time when PBS called. “Everyone needs to know these things, like transportation

and school buses,” Kwon continued. “(But) in policy circles, this stuff is boring. What I really liked about the series is that it shed light on these vital things that are being taken for granted and visualized them in a way where people could say, ‘Wow, this is really cool.’ Tese are the things people should know. Tis is where media can make a real difference.” He wanted to tell stories like that of bus driver Meehan,


Feb. 28th – Mar. 5th , 2014 Nashville, TN

who on “America Revealed” said every day he has to play the role of “the mother, the father, the mediator, the nurse and the cool uncle.” While filming the segment, Kwon said it was evident that the students on the bus genuinely liked and respected Meehan. “He was awesome,” said Kwon, who spent an entire morn- ing and afternoon with Meehan and the students. “He’s the kind of school bus driver every kids want. He’s an educator, a coach, a disciplinarian, and he did a great job at it. Te kids genuinely love him. What really came across is he has this tremendous bond with them and keeps things lightheart- ed, warm, nurturing and funny. Te kids looked forward to getting on bus. “ Kwon wanted to share that message in a non-partisan

yet entertaining and informative way. “America Revealed” was about being “substantive and highlighting the need for investments.” Kwon recommended that the industry continue to in- fluence policymakers at the state and federal level, such as through the American School Bus Council. But he added that student transporters should not neglect the grassroots. School busing, Kwon added, creates jobs and assists in energy conservation by removing parents’ vehicles from the school zone, and is the safest form of transportation for students. PTAs, teachers, parents, local business owners, and others in communities need to hear that message. “(School busing) makes a lot of sense on a policy level, but

it’s not focused on because education is all about reading, more teachers in the classroom,” he said. “Tose are important, but buses are part of that chain. If you’re going to be talking about education, (school busing) is an integral part.” STN EXPO attendees, during the keynote event sponsored

Presented by

by Blue Bird Corporation, will hear this message and Kwon’s own story about how the school bus was one of the many secrets to his success. “No other country in the world could someone like me have found the life I have had,” he concluded. 

60 School Transportation News May 2013

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