ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) recently named Rose Winters its 2016 New York State Bus Driver of the Year at its annual awards conference.
Winters, an employee of Owego Apalachin Central School District for 38 years, was surprised by the award, according to Tony Quaranta, the school district’s director of transportation.
"We kept it under wraps pretty well, through the entire months-long application process, right down to having her there to receive the award," Quaranta said. "It was really nice."
Also present at the event for the district were Corey Green, the superintendent of schools, and business official Randy Pryor.
"It's a huge honor for Rose to receive because it says that not only does she meet all the standards of a great driver — mandatory training, licensing, testing in the classroom and on the road — but that she far exceeds those benchmarks,” Quaranta said. “Rose has become a Department of Motor Vehicles examiner as well as a school bus driver instructor, active in training and teaching other drivers the state education department's regulations regarding what it takes to be a superior school bus driver."
"Rose Winters is what you'd call an MVP type of employee for our school district," Green said. "She's a go-to person in our transportation department when other drivers have questions or concerns, acting as a valuable liaison for her department, bridging gaps to administrators, staff, and oftentimes, children and their families. Constant and efficient communication makes our transportation operation run seamlessly, and Rose is a key piece of that well-oiled machine."
“Rose Winters embodies the skills that everyone here aspires to possess,” Quaranta added. “She's an exemplary leader, and we're very proud of her here at OA [Owego Apalachin], so it's fitting that she has received this recognition across all of New York state."