STN Transportation Director of the Year Keeps Focused on Family

Director of transportation and fleet services for Jefferson County Schools in Colorado, Greg Jackson was this years’ Transportation Director of the Year award recipient, presented by School Transportation News.

Greg Jackson, director of transportation and fleet services at Jefferson County Schools, poses with a Blue Bird school bus. (Photo by Taylor Hannon.)
Greg Jackson, executive director of transportation and fleet services at Jefferson County Schools near Denver. (Photo by Taylor Hannon.)

Greg Jackson is known across Colorado for his relationship-based leadership style, which gives his district a family-friendly feel. Family is a common theme across Jackson’s life and he extends that same family community across the district, especially towards Columbine High School.

Read more about Jefferson County Schools and Greg Jackson below. Read the November 2019 issue of School Transportation News for Jackson’s full profile.

Columbine High School

Jefferson County Schools (Jeffco) encompasses Columbine High School, where the infamous 1999 student massacre occurred. Jackson remembers that day when 12 students and one teacher were murdered. He recounted the impact it had on the surrounding community, and while he wasn’t working at the district at the time, he was living in Colorado.

This past year, on the 20th anniversary, the district closed the school down, because a copycat shooter was threatening the safety of the students. Since then, a survey was sent to neighborhood residents, asking if Columbine High School should be shut down and renamed.

The community voted no, the incident was a part of them, and they didn’t want the killer to have that power. Instead, they voted for more security and fencing around Columbine to keep the children safe.

Jackson commented that because the high school is well-known, not only does it have to keep copycat killers from entering the building, but also from people looking to steal  “memorabilia.”

Jackson said the district is partnering with law enforcement officials to better train school bus drivers on active shooter response. The district recently implemented a security text-based system to communicate safety messages during an emergency. Jeffco also established security radio channels that select personnel can turn to and be instantly updated on what is happening around the district.

The North Terminal at JeffCo. (Photo by Taylor Hannon.)

Pony Mail

Jeffco also uses bus drivers to deliver its mail to all of its schools. The mail is sorted at the district’s main hub, and bus drivers stop by on their routes to pick up the mail when they are traveling to that select terminal.

The mail is then further sorted at each terminal, for bus drivers to then deliver to the corresponding schools. Jackson said this program is using the available resource, which saves the district money by not having to pay a person solely to deliver the mail, as well as postage.

The “Pony Mail” program also gives the drivers a face at those schools. Jackson said, yes, they are driving students, but they are also making that connection at the school and building those relationships.

What an honor for Colorado to have another of our district transportation directors be the recipient of the transportation director of the year! Greg is highly respected among his peers and by his staff as a man of great integrity and high ethical standards.

— Susan Miller, Lead Transportation Consultant
Colorado Department of Education

Editor’s note — Nicole Portee, the former executive director of transportation at Denver Public Schools, was last year’s Transportation Director of the Year award winner. Portee has since moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, to serve as Guilford County Schools senior executive director of operations systems support services.

Did You Know? 

Greg Jackson and wife Melonie recently celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary. Their son Josh is a freshman at New Mexico State University, where he is studying theater.

Despite being born and raised in New York, with his father being a huge fan of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, the younger Jackson took a liking to the Washington Redskins at 9 years old and has supported the team ever since.

But he is still a die-hard New York Yankees baseball fan and attends all three games when his favorite team visits to play the Colorado Rockies. Jackson also enjoys horror movies, snowshoeing with his wife, and “glamping.” That’s a style of camping with amenities, and in some cases, resort-style high-end services.