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October 30, 2009  |   Comments (4)   |   Post a comment

15 Fascinating Personalities

SHARING TOOLS   | Email Print RSS « Page 2 of 8 »

Peggy Burns, Esq.
Consultant and Owner, Education Compliance Group Inc.

Peggy Burns and husband Mike landed on this glacier during a helicopter ride from Juneau, Alaska.

Born: Bronx, N.Y.
Home: Lafayette, Colo.
Years in industry: 14 years direct involvement, 21 total years
Notable previous job: Teaching English

How did you get your start in the industry?
In 1995, I did a Freedom of Information Act request, seeking cases on student-to-student sexual harassment for a policy I was developing for my district. When I learned that a surprising number of situations took place on the school bus, I contacted my then-director of transportation. He suggested I do a presentation on the subject at the spring Colorado State Pupil Transportation Association meeting. I fell in love with the people I met - and decided to learn everything I could about the subject of legal issues related to pupil transportation.

 Current job duties?
As a consultant, I write Legal Routes; create video training programs for school bus drivers; develop training materials for all levels of personnel in pupil transportation; offer presentations, workshops, and other training opportunities; and, currently, am developing practical resources for a school risk management manual under contract to a national insurance company.

Top achievements?
Professional - my ability to "operationalize" complex legal information so that it will be useful to school transportation professionals at all levels. And, my most recent video, "The Road to Compliance for Special-Needs Drivers."

Personal - that I was able to raise two wonderful sons and have a fulfilling 27-year (to date) marriage, while having an enriching professional career.

Outside interests?
Reading novels and participating in a book club that's been together for many years. I dabble in gardening. I love taking road trips with my husband.

If you could travel anywhere ...
Italy - the sights, the food - everything.

Something people would be surprised to learn about you?
That I'm quite a "stay at home," sometimes anti-social person.

What do you like most about being in the industry?
The authenticity of the people.



Michael P. Dallessandro
Transportation Supervisor, Lake Shore Central School
District, Angola, N.Y.

Michael Dallessandro says he is proud of his family and thankful for his circle of friends.

Born: Buffalo, N.Y.
Home: Buffalo, N.Y.
Years in industry: 21
Notable previous jobs: I have worked as a mobile DJ and a radio DJ. I also did some auto sales and fleet leasing work after college.

How did you get your start in the industry?
I was hoping to be called for the Buffalo (N.Y.) Fire Department, and I took a job at the Kenmore-Tonawanda School District in Buffalo as a substitute school bus driver to make some cash and kill time. The job with the fire department never came through, but my interest in school transportation and responsibilities at Kenmore-Tonawanda grew and now here I am.

Current job duties?
I oversee overall day-to-day transportation and grounds operations at Lake Shore Central School District.

Top achievements?
We have been able to update and modernize our bus fleet and transportation facility, make strides in improving training and safety, and continue to support professional development.

Outside interests?
There's a special place in my heart for retired funeral cars. I have owned two in my life so far: a 1967 Cadillac/Superior and a 1982 Cadillac/S&S Victoria. Also, my wife and I spend most of our leisure time participating in boating activities.

What is something that people would be surprised to learn about you?
After I retire from the school bus business, I think I would like to try a career in talk radio.

What do you like most about being in the industry?
I feel fortunate that I have been able to get to know the people who work in my office, my fellow transportation directors and the people who build and sell our buses. They are an amazingly dedicated team of professionals who I continue to learn so much from every day.

Tell us about your Website,
I am able to share my 20-plus years of experience in school transportation and volunteer fire department management through the Website. I have developed training programs aimed at safe driving, leadership and management development that are detailed on the site.

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Brad, You are truly an asset to Utah. You are also the proud winner of the NAPT National Competition. I would like to thank you for sharing knowledge with individuals in our industry. You are amazing. Launi Schmutz

Launi Schmutz    |    Oct 15, 2010 01:32 PM

I would love to see pics of the bus you are restoring. I myself have turned a '83 International into a motor home.

Joe Fondue    |    Aug 20, 2010 12:34 PM

Congratulations Diana - This is awesome. I could see you mud wrestling for charity however - you are an extremely warm and giving soul. You also have a tiny need to sometimes step over to the wild side. God Bless you my friend. MAxine

Maxine Mougeot    |    May 03, 2010 02:35 PM

Mr. Bob Riley was wonderful to work with here at Palm Beach County. I found him to be a wonderful mentor for all. Whether he was tutoring a driver in geometry for their GED test or teaching his staff how to deal with difficult parents he made it fun. He has the ability to make you feel comfortable and taught you to believe in yourself; I will always be grateful for the opportunities he gave me.

Sue Gorby    |    Nov 04, 2009 05:39 AM

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