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Todd Watkins pictured in the first bus he ever drove at the University of Maryland.


plained. “Everybody that


you interact with is your customer. And the word


delight is about doing some- thing more than just what they expect, like going an extra step to do something, to delight them. So, we


built this kind of culture around customer delight.” The terminology is still being used 22 years later. Staff


have also developed related themes, such as “Delight by Foresight,” “Expedite for Delight,” and “Drive Right to Delight.” Watkins noted that this focus has greatly decreased complaints and improved how the district interacts with people. He explained this motto has become the department’s guiding principles, and he doesn’t see any reason why it would change going forward. “You ask any person in our department what our department motto is, they will


say customer delight,” Watkins said. “I believe it’s on their ID badge, on our newsletters, so it’s just this constant reminder of, ‘Hey, everybody’s your customer, and we want to treat them right.’”


Understanding the Special Needs Community Watkin’s first born, Noah, 23, has a rare genetic con-


dition called SATB-2 Associated Syndrome, which can be similar to autism. One difference, Watkins explained, is that Noah loves being around people and craves interaction. He uses various self-adapted signs to com- municate. Noah attended various schools and rode the school bus. This experience helps Todd Watkins be a better leader, as he is able to put himself in other people’s shoes. When he receives a request from a parent about a pick-up, other staff members might question why the person would expect such a thing. But Watkins says he


CONGRATULATIONS TO


Montgomery County Public


Schools, a partner of TripSpark


Technologies for over 20 years.


Todd Watkins OF


Montgomery County Public Schools as Transportation Director of the Year


“ To a job well


done in the most challenging of times. The TripSpark staff


salutes you and your team


TripSpark — A single source provider of bus routing and GPS solutions 46 School Transportation News • NOVEMBER 2020


Cheers Todd!


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