Anderson started his career in the pupil transportation field in 1981 as a mechanic.
Creating career opportunities
Because he started his pupil transportation career as a mechanic, Anderson has made a point of helping young people enter the field.
At both Cherry Creek and Adams 12, he has set up mechanic apprenticeship programs. Automotive instructors from high schools in the district recommend their best students, who start as apprentices in the school bus shop as juniors or seniors and continue with the program as they attend a college in the area to get a degree.
While in college, apprentices typically work about 30 hours a week at the bus garage, where they get hands-on experience with the district’s journeyman mechanics, and they take their college classes at night.
Many of the apprentices have gone on to get a full-time job with the school district. There are currently several mechanics on staff at both Cherry Creek and Adams 12 who went through the program.
Setting up the program, which included developing standards for the apprenticeship and getting it approved by the U.S. Department of Labor, was not easy, but Anderson says that it was well worth the effort.
“Way back when, someone gave me a chance, so it’s important to me to give young people a chance,” he says. “You feel like you’re helping somebody fulfill their dreams. It’s the right thing to do.”
Anderson’s dedication extends to numerous industry groups. In addition to his current tenure as Region 5 director for NAPT, he has served as a Colorado delegate to the National Congress on School Transportation, a co-chair of the America’s Best School Bus Technician and Inspector program and a board member for the Colorado State Pupil Transportation Association, among other roles.
“You end up using a lot of personal time,” Anderson says of the industry commitments. “But there’s personal satisfaction in serving the transportation community. I try to be out there helping others and leading by example.”
To see past recipients of our Administrator of the Year award, check out this photo gallery.