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. Public Schools of North Carolina . . State Board of Education . . Department Of Public Instruction .


NEWS RELEASES 2001-02 :: MARCH 19, 2002


Two school bus drivers in North Carolina are getting some well-deserved financial support toward further education, thanks to Thomas Built Buses. The $3,000 renewable scholarship awards enable drivers or their families to pursue higher education opportunities.

Carolyn Bowden, a 16-year bus driver for Sampson County Schools, will use the scholarship money to purse a teaching degree through Sampson Community College. "Not only am I a bus driver for Midway Elementary, I am also a teacher's assistant. This has given me an added advantage of working with the children not only on the bus, but in the classroom too," Bowden said. "This is a job I take very seriously. It is my hope to somehow touch each child I serve in a positive way."

Also receiving a scholarship was Everette Yost, a 13-year school bus driver for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools. Yost said that not only should school bus drivers transport children in a safe, timely way, but that they should also "be a good mentor and set a good example for the children they come in contact with." Yost's granddaughter will benefit from the renewable scholarship as she pursues college upon her graduation from South Rowan High.

The scholarships were presented at the North Carolina Spring Pupil Transportation Conference by John W. Thomas III, President and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. Thomas said the scholarship program provides the company with "an excellent opportunity to give back to an education community that has done so much for Thomas Built Buses." Thomas Built Buses, a subsidiary of Freightliner Corporation, is a major supplier of school bus bodies and chassis and is based in High Point.

Department of Public Instruction Transportation Services Section Chief Derek Graham said that this year he was particularly grateful to Thomas Built Buses for continuing with its scholarship program given the difficult economy. "Too often school bus drivers don't get the recognition they deserve for the tremendous responsibility they assume. We appreciate Thomas' continued support of this schloarship program," Graham said.

In order to be considered for the scholarships, applicants must have a clean driving record, be currently employed as a bus driver, and have been a bus driver for five of the past six years.

For more information, contact Derek Graham, Transportation Services, DPI, 919.807.3570.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.