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Doald Kunkel


Brightening Up the Garage


transportation softwares including those from Transfinder, Zonar and fuel management system providers. Kunkel brings laughter to the work environment while also maintaining a profession- al persona. He is constantly helping out where needed, and he even worked in the transportation office for a while during a staff shortage.


“He not only did the job proficiently, but he had a way of making Shop Supervisor, First Student Donald Kunkel started working as the shop supervisor for First


Student on July 1, when Pocono Mountain School District in Penn- sylvania outsourced its transportation services. Prior to working for First Student, he served as the district’s vehicle maintenance supervisor. Kunkel works hard daily to help keep all 170 school buses and 58 district vehicles running safely and efficiently. He has been in the industry for seven years. In addition to supervising the mechanic staff, he has knowledge of various


every person feel important. He valued other opinions and took suggestions to make the day run smoothly,” said Diane Conklin, the district’s administrative assistant. “I can honestly say he brought the sunshine on really tough days.” Melissa Lowe, another district administrative assistant, said Kunkel


exhibits leadership skills and gives outstanding direction to mechan- ics. She added that Kunkel is very organized and displays strong communication skills. He maintains a professional demeanor when working at the shop and is highly respected in the district as a leader. Bradley Pensyl, the district’s executive director of student and support staff services, was Kunkel’s direct supervisor. He said he found Kunkel to be dependable, efficient and compassionate about his work. He added that Kunkel works to maintain an operational fleet and handles any difficult project the garage throws at him. Kunkel said his favorite part of the job is ensuring that all of the


students riding the bus are safe every day. He said he recognizes his amazing staff of mechanics, that help run a successful department.


Tey Dickey Weathering Every Storm in his Way


Terry Dickey began his career at


Santa Fe ISD 26 years ago as a help- er and has never let up. He is reliable, knowledgeable, customer-friendly and technologically savvy. He played a large role in the


district’s evacuation efforts during Hurricane Harvey, which devasted parts of Texas and Louisiana in 2017. Dickey worked tirelessly during


that emergency, driving through high flood waters to fuel first responder and evacuation vehicles. He also ensured the generators were in working order before, during and after the storm. Dickey holds numerous Au-


Mechanical Supervisor, Santa Fe


Independent School District in Texas


tomotive Service Excellence certifications and credentials necessary to repair and maintain the district fleet’s CNG fueling compressors. “He knows our fleet because


he was here when they were purchased and has worked on all of them,” said Mark McKinney,


24 School Transportation News • AUGUST 2020


director of transportation. “He has been instrumental in our district moving forward with a compre- hensive camera system, stop-arm enforcement, collision mitigation, surround view, interior and exterior, alternative fuels, and GPS.” In addition to mentoring and


developing shop personnel, Dickey has placed in the top three at the Texas Best School Bus Technicians Competition on four different occasions. In 2014, he won first place and represented the state at NAPT America’s Best. McKinney said Dickey would be the most difficult person to replace in the entire operation, as he does the job of two people. When asked his favorite part of


the job, Dickey said he loves seeing the happy faces and smiles on the driver’s faces when the mechanics complete their buses on time. He said not only does it make the driv- ers happy but the students as well.


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