BROOKE GARCIA | CEO | 4Seasons Transportation | Calgary, Alberta Brooke Garcia was looking for a job that

allowed her to bring her daughter to work with her, when she came across a post- ing for a school bus driver position at special-needs contractor 4Seasons Transportation. She worked her way up the company ladder before even- tually becoming the chief executive officer and purchasing the company, all in a span of less than 10 years. Her day revolves around her family, as she

starts it by helping her three daughters get ready in the morning for school and concludes it with a family dinner and evening activities. In be- tween, she’s atttending meetings with her staff family as well as school boards. Kersti McDonald, the marketing communications manager for 4Seasons, said Garcia grew the company from eight employees to over 450. She’s been featured in Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 and received the 2018 City of Calgary Accessible Transportation Award and the City of Calgary Commerce Award. McDonald noted that 4Seasons is also committed to

improving the lives of others and supporting the local community. She added that the company culture starts at the top with Garcia, who leads all efforts, inspires

the staff, influences policies, and advances the transportation industry for fellow Albertans. 4Seasons also invites its staff for month-

ly meals and provides free daycare for employees’ children. Under Garcia’s lead- ership, the company has also established relationships with local nonprofits to help vulnerable local residents improve their quality of life, build new skills, and gain work experience. She also serves as a

leader in the special needs community and was invited to participate in the COVID-19 Alberta Education Re-Entry Plan.

“It’s so rewarding to give children with special needs an equal opportunity to education and enable their par- ents to go to work and make an income,” Garcia shared. “I also love working alongside and employing hundreds of people from all over the world.” Garcia said she is excited to continue to grow 4Seasons Transportation and impact as many children’s lives as she and her team can. “This year has shown us that we shouldn’t take anything for granted. We’re grateful to be in an industry that plays an important role in getting kids back to school so their parents can get back to work,” she added.

ZACHARIAH MCKINNEY | Director of Transportation | Hamilton Southeastern Schools | Indiana Zach McKinney started his career in educa-

tion as an elementary teacher and eventually became an elementary school principial. His role slowly evolved into overseeing transportation operations until ultimately becoming the direct of transportation at Hamilton Southeastern Schools. McKin- ney, 38, recently started his fourth year in the position. Denis Benefiel, a school bus driver and mechanic for the district, shared that McKinney had to overcome many hurdles as he grew accus- tomed to his new role yet he did so with professionalism, tact and diplomacy. Benefiel added that McKinney is on call 24/7 and makes sure his staff is well taken care of amid the COVID-19 health crisis. The district fleet, which covers 82-square miles north of

Indianapolis, consists of 320 school buses with 380 trans- portation employees overseeing service for over 22,000 students. McKinney said his district, like nearly every oth- er in the nation, faces challenges with staffing. He shared that on average the department has 26 open routes, in which office staff steps in to fill those driver seats. “Each day I am amazed by the dedication and support

42 School Transportation News • OCTOBER 2020

all of our drivers provide by filling in to cover extra routes after they have completed their assignments,” McKinney shared. “What keeps things exciting in transportation is that no two days are alike. Each day we are presented with something new, and we face it head on while providing the safest mode of transportation to and

from school.” McKinney said he enjoys interacting

with his staff and with the students when he drivers a route, adding that he prefers to

employ what he calls a servant leadership style. While his continued goal is to improve his department’s practices as a whole, to ensure the safest experience on the school bus, he continues to focus on technological implemen- tation, including stop-arm cameras and enforcement, 360-degree surround view technology, and driver data terminals that offer turn-by-turn directions. “In my short time in this industry, my favorite part is the networking that occurs when attending the national conferences,” he shared. “I am honored to be part of such a large group of people that are dedicated in making pupil transportation the best around.”

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