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... [I]f you figure out how to have good relationships with people, treat people well, I think the rest is relatively


easy. That’s my biggest lesson learned.” —Todd Watkinds, Director of Transportation for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland


they were around and worked with,” he explained. “And we’re calling them for that 14-day period, and making sure they’re OK, that’s really been a positive thing that people seem to really appreciate.” While Watkins oversees one of the largest districts in


the nation, he commented that it’s the smaller districts that have the tougher jobs. He noted that smaller districts experience the same challenges as larger operations but with limited staff. He said he has the luxury of employing people who are experts in their fields, while transportation directors at smaller, rural districts might also be the main- tenance supervisor, dispatcher, and driving routes. His greatest advice going forward is that, as important as new technology is, student transportation is a peo-


ple business. “This is a people business, and if you can figure out how to do a good job relating to people and managing and motivating people that is the lion’s share of how to be successful in in this, and I assume many other businesses, it’s all about the people,” Watkins said. “And if you figure out how to have good relationships with people, treat people well, I think the rest is relatively easy. That’s my biggest lesson learned.” ●


Read more about the MCPS transportation plan amid COVID-19 and technology Watkins is looking to implement at stnoline.com/go/mcps20.


52 School Transportation News • NOVEMBER 2020


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