REBECCA ‘BECKA’ SYKES | Director of Transportation Sargent School District Re-33J | Monte Vista, Colorado

GLENN SYKES | Director of Transportation Alamosa School District | Alamosa, Colorado

When it’s meant to be, it’s

meant to be. That can certain- ly be said for the wife-husband combination of Becka and Glenn Sykes, and the leadership they provide

their respective school districts plus the entire state of Colorado. The couple first met and dated in high school. As Bec-

ka recalled, life got in the way and the two drifted apart. But they reconnected in 2009 and were married the next year. By 2013, Becka and Glenn had a new baby, and Glenn no longer was keen on spending time away from home as a long-distance truck driver. Fortunately, Alamosa School District located about 40 miles north of the New Mexico border was hiring substitute school bus drivers, and Glenn liked the hours and location. He was hired as a substitute driver for several months, received his own route and then became an activity driver. He went on to win the “Safe Driver” award from the district for three consecutive years. By 2016, he was named

the director of transportation. A year earlier, Becka began driving a school bus at Alam- osa to take on a special needs route. “And I fell in love with the industry,” she added. Bec- ka soon became a full-time special needs route driver, and then an activity driver and a driver trainer, winning her own “Safe Driver” award in 2015, 2016 and 2017. She was named director of transportation at nearby

at Moffat Consolidated School District. Becka was also named “Colorado’s Best Trainer by the Colorado State Pupil Transportation Association (CSPTA) last year. “Rebecca and Glenn have turned their two districts in

rural Colorado into models for how small districts should operate,” wrote Aaron Harris, sales manager for BESI, Inc., who nominated the couple. They stay busy, that’s for sure. Becka is Region 3 di-

rector on the CSPTA executive board, chair of the CSPTA trainer’s committee, which Glenn is also a member of, and a member of the Colorado Department of Educa- tion Transportation Advisory Committee. Glenn is also a member of the CSPTA technicians committee. But the Sykes’ true passion is

We realized that there was a huge lack of training for working with these kiddos [who have special needs]. So we decided to rectify the situation.”

special needs transportation. “We realized that there was a huge lack of training for working with these kiddos,” said Becka, who is also secretary of the CSPTA special needs committee. “So, we decided to rectify the situation and creat- ed this special needs conference that we put on every other year. It consists of a three-day, 40-hour special needs intensive training.” Student transporters from

across Colorado come to learn basic knowledge, rules and regu- lations, how to work with oxygen and service animals, and how to understand the various disabilities they may encounter. As if that’s not enough, Becka and Glenn also organize and host an annual in-service and roadeo

competition that is open to all schools to attend. “This year we had over 125 people in attendance. It has

Sargent School District in 2017. She also continues to drive sub routes and train for Glenn at Alamosa, and serve as interim director of Centennial School District and train

grown from 80 people only four years ago, and focused on student management. We had schools from the Four Corners region through Metro Denver in attendance, and we are expecting a bigger turnout next year,” Becka reported.

54 School Transportation News • OCTOBER 2019

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