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April 01, 2006  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Profile of a school bus pioneer


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Mary Amyot may be a new name to many people in our industry today. But her name is one that should be known for the contributions she made in New York state and across the nation.

Amyot, who is now retired, began her career in the school bus industry in the early 1960s, when women were not a part of the transportation fabric. In 1963, she became the first female transportation director in New York, working for Fairport Central School District.

As a director, Amyot was organized and knowledgeable in the field of transportation and business practices. She was articulate while speaking to boards of education and at New York State Education Department meetings. Parents felt comfortable expressing their concerns to her, as she had an exceptional ability to listen and connect with them while solving their problems.

At Fairport, Amyot was also in charge of census and attendance, and she helped develop a computerized census program in the 1960s that was used through the local Board of Cooperative Educational Services. She opened five new Fairport schools and saw her student population and transportation needs grow from 2,507 students to 7,872 students.

In 1972, Amyot went to Brighton Central School District as its director of transportation and support services while continuing to help mentor new transportation directors. After retiring from Brighton in 1981, she went to work for National School Bus as its director of marketing and services for nine years.

Amyot was very active at the local, state and national levels within the industry. She traveled across New York, helping school districts maximize their state aid formulas and fill out their forms correctly, and she was involved in conferences across the country.

Amyot served on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) when the group was formed. She was the NAPT’s first Region 1 director from 1974 to 1977.

Within New York, she was a founder of the Rochester Area Transportation Supervisors Association and a driving force in the New York State Pupil Transportation Association (now the New York Association for Pupil Transportation) and other state groups.

Amyot is a woman who blazed trails in what truly was a man’s world in the early ‘60s. She played a significant part in establishing the professional standards that the industry is accustomed to today.

Today, at age 78, Mary lives in Florida, where she golfs three times a week and enjoys dancing. She has two sons who are teachers in Fairport and one daughter who teaches in California.

— PETER LAWRENCE


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