CLINTON PARK, N.Y. — The New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT), a statewide organization dedicated to the support, development, and representation of professionals responsible for the safe and efficient transportation of our school children, has awarded Brunswick Central School District school bus driver William Burns with its annual School Bus Driver of the Year Award for 2021.
Burns, who was presented with the award during NYAPT’s annual conference & trade show at the Saratoga Springs City Center on July 13, is credited with preventing a student from being seriously hurt, or killed, by a car that had illegally passed his stopped school bus at a high rate of speed. Burns was able to quickly reach out and grab the student as he was exiting the bus to prevent him from being struck.
“It is a tremendous honor to present William Burns with our School Bus Driver of the Year Award,” said NYAPT Executive Director David Christopher. “Not only does he represent the pinnacle of his profession with student safety as his top priority, William is known for going above and beyond of what’s expected of him every day he gets behind the wheel. From his positive interactions with the kids, community involvement, and mentoring of other drivers, this much deserved award is a credit to William’s dedication and professionalism.”
Burns has been a school bus driver for the Brunswick Central School District in Rensselaer County for nearly 14 years, and also spent a number of years driving for a neighboring district. During the height of the COVID pandemic he was often seen at school and community events holding up a sign wishing students well. He’s known throughout the District for his unwavering positive attitude and kindness, and is considered a true champion of student safety.
NYAPT would also like to remind folks that numerous school districts are currently facing school bus driver shortages and are encouraging qualified applicants to apply at their local school districts for openings in the upcoming school year. Many districts are losing a significant amount of drivers through retirement, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the situation. Many school districts are offering driver bonuses, paid training and licensing, and other incentives to encourage new drivers to come on board.
NYAPT also noted that the 2.3 million children who ride school buses in New York State are driven by qualified and well-trained school bus drivers on routes carefully planned for safety, that buses are maintained at the highest of safety standards, and that school transportation officials are always doing their best to keep students safe when they are on or near a school bus.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, students are 70 times safer riding a school bus to school versus a private car. See www.nhtsa.gov
About The New York Association for Pupil Transportation:
It is a statewide organization that dedicates to the development and support of professionals who are responsible for the safe and efficient transportation of students. To learn more visit https://www.nyapt.org/