Like a tree falling in a forest with no one around to hear it, does a magazine make a "sound" if it has no readers?
Well, maybe that's getting a bit too philosophical for my blood. But my point is that we wouldn't be here if it weren't for you.
As I look over this issue of SCHOOL BUS FLEET, I'm reminded of the dedication of you, our readers.
You're dedicated to the safe transportation of students, first and foremost. But your dedication also continues to spill over to our magazine, as it has throughout our more than 50-year history.
Not only do we depend on our readers to, yes, read our publication each month — we depend on you to share your expertise and insight.
Take our "20 Ways to Bolster Safety" feature in this issue. We put out a call for readers to send in a variety of tips on enhancing safety at school bus operations. The response was remarkable.
Recommendations from nearly three-dozen pupil transportation professionals made it into the article, and we received plenty more that we couldn't fit in this time around. So look for another round of great safety tips in an upcoming issue.
Another example of outstanding response from our readers in this issue is our annual Photo Contest. Now in its sixth edition, the contest attracted 130 entries from nearly 40 people.
As always, our editors have a tough task in judging these pictorial submissions.
You might not expect it if you're not involved in the industry, but school bus transportation lends itself to some fantastic photography. The winning entrants certainly proved that point.
Teresa Ochoa of Mountain View (Calif.) Whisman School District, who submitted one of the top shots, showed off what our industry is all about: the kids.
Janet Childs of Macomb Intermediate School District in Michigan captured what could be described as a heavenly spectacle, as the sun breaks through the clouds and seems to select a certain school bus.
And Debbie Wheaton of Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District in Arizona presented a somewhat playful take on a routine subject: school bus maintenance.
If this is your first time seeing our annual Photo Contest, be sure to visit our Website, www.schoolbusfleet.com, to look over some of the past editions of the contest (click on "Photo Gallery").
A debt of gratitude
Our heartfelt thanks to all who contribute to SCHOOL BUS FLEET and allow us to be successful. Whether it's reading our monthly issues, engaging in our Website, sending us ideas, writing articles for us or, of course, placing advertisements, we couldn't do it without you.
And we're always eager to hear from you. If you have something you'd like to share with us and other readers, or if you have feedback on anything you've read — be it positive or negative — don't hesitate to send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.