Layna Georgia proves that those not (yet) in a supervisory position can still be leaders. A school bus driver and office

helper, she was recently promoted to dispatcher and has excelled in the role. A new routing program installed this year is the latest challenge that Georgia readily tackled. “She is not afraid to jump in feet first and get things done,” said Transportation Director Kathy Roadlander. She shared that Georgia regularly takes work home in order to enter routing data because it’s quieter there and she can focus better. The district provides school bus service to campuses around Phoenix and throughout

Arizona, requiring Roadlander to travel often in order to check on programs. This neces- sitates that the transportation department works as a tight team, she added. Georgia’s growth in her position and initiative in effectively using a new routing pro-

gram “has made my job as a director much easier and allows me to know that I can get my duties accomplished,” Roadlander explained. Georgia is just one shining example of the network of reliable drivers, mechanics,

office staff and others who are part of a transportation operation and assist the director and other management to make it the best it can be.


Kimberly Heiser’s colleagues at Worcester County Public Schools in Maryland couldn’t agree more that she is a rising superstar in student transportation. Heiser has been in the industry for three-fifths of her life, working her way up from educational assistant to transportation supervisor.

“I can think of no one better suited to the task of manag-

ing our transportation system here in Worcester County,” declared Superintendent Louis H. Taylor.

Kim Hudson, school vehicle driver instructor, shared how Heiser “became a sponge”

for 12 years, “learning everything she could from the former supervisor with regards to school bus transportation” before she stepped into the position. Heiser credited the 31 years she spent working with students, parents, board members

and district administration as preparing her to oversee transportation operations, and any challenges that may arise. Facilities Planner Joe Price commended Heiser’s “ability to effectively communicate with a broad cross-section of individuals, from bus contractors to parents to the Super- intendent of Schools and Board of Education members.” “[Heiser] has worked diligently to establish a strong relationship with our bus contrac-

tors, our school administrators, our parents, and our community, to ensure a safe and effi- cient transportation service for the students,” agreed Chief Operating Officer Steve Price. She “has always been a ‘go-getter,’” observed Desmond Hughes, director of trans-

portation for nearby Wicomico County Public Schools. “…[S]he’s always seemed to be acutely aware and involved in the transportation operations of the school system.” Heiser has also made a name for herself at the state level. Gabriel Rose, director of

pupil transportation and emergency management at the Maryland State Department of Education, shared that Worcester County includes Maryland’s “most popular and highest revenue tourist destination.” This results in increased tourist traffic at the beginning and end of every school year, which Heiser successfully handles. For her part, Heiser credits the contractors and bus drivers who safely deliver stu- dents to their destinations every day as “the unsung heroes.”

44 School Transportation News • OCTOBER 2018

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