TALAWANDA, Ohio – Petermann Bus is proud to announce that Heather Schnitker-Blume, maintenance technician, at its Talawanda, OH, location, has been selected as a School Transportation News (STN) Garage Star finalist. Heather is the only woman finalist this year out of the ten selected and is featured on the cover of the August issue of STN’s magazine for her accomplishments. The magazine spotlights Heather, as well as the other finalists. STN’s annual Garage Star aims to bring more recognition to maintenance professionals’ vital role in school bus safety. Individuals are nominated and then selected based on a graded criteria system. Over 120 individuals were nominated for 2023, including another fellow teammate Humberto Aguayo, from Petermann’s sister brand, Durham School Services, in Grayslake, IL.
Heather started her career with Petermann Bus in 2020 as a driver and advanced her career a year later into her current position as a technician. Before working for Petermann Bus, Heather worked for her local sheriff’s department for 15 years as a dispatcher. Since her childhood days till even present day, Heather has spent a great deal of time at her family’s auto repair shop, learning and watching her dad repair and rebuild vehicles. Heather currently manages a fleet of 41 buses and one company vehicle with another fellow technician. Her current aspiration is to become a lead technician and Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified.
“I feel proud and empowered to be featured and recognized as not only a Garage Star finalist by STN but also the only woman of all the finalists,” said Heather Schnitker-Blume. “I hope my feature as a Garage Star helps shine a bigger spotlight on other women in the field. I know that a career in maintenance can be intimidating, but I hope that when others see me featured by STN, it inspires and encourages them to pursue it confidently. Lastly, I just want to say thank you to my manager John Hinners for giving me the opportunity to advance my career and further foster my interest in maintenance.”
“Heather is a talented technician, and we are all very proud of her,” said John Hinners, Region Maintenance Manager, Petermann Bus. “We are thrilled that she has been recognized by STN as a Garage Star because she is truly that – a star. This recognition is undoubtedly well-deserved and another milestone for both Heather and other fellow women in the maintenance field. We are fortunate to have Heather on our team and look forward to seeing her continue to grow in the field and achieve her goal of becoming an ASE Certified Technician.”
About Petermann Bus: As an industry-leading student transportation provider, Petermann Bus provides safe and reliable transportation to students in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Since 1921, we have been committed to Excellence and upholding our mission of getting students to school safely, on time, and ready to learn. Through this mission and a grassroots approach to our operations, Petermann Bus has earned recognition as a trusted transportation provider among our Customers and the Communities we serve.