Mark Primeau (left) won AAA Hudson Valley’s 2016 Safe School Bus Driver Award. He is seen here with Fred Kowalik, transportation supervisor for Berlin CSD, and AAA's Otto the Auto, which teaches children about road safety.

Mark Primeau (left) won AAA Hudson Valley’s 2016 Safe School Bus Driver Award. He is seen here with Fred Kowalik, transportation supervisor for Berlin CSD, and AAA's Otto the Auto, which teaches children about road safety.

BERLIN, N.Y. — School bus driver and trainer Mark Primeau was recently honored by the local chapter of AAA for his commitment to the safety and success of his passengers.

Primeau, who works for Berlin Central School District (CSD), received AAA Hudson Valley’s 2016 Safe School Bus Driver Award this spring.

Primeau was nominated for the award by the Berlin CSD transportation department, which cited his dedication to safety, his work ethic, and his rapport with students.

“Mark Primeau loves to be a bus driver and professionally accepts the responsibility of transporting the students of our community,” said Fred Kowalik, transportation supervisor for Berlin CSD. “Mark has earned the respect and admiration of the students he transports as well as his fellow drivers and attendants.”

Primeau is a retiree who began driving for Berlin CSD in 2009. His job includes driving on mountainous roads in various types of weather, setting positive expectations for student behavior, and keeping an eye out for unsafe motorists and other dangers on the road. According to the district, Primeau has transported hundreds of students safely to and from school and events.

“Not only does Mark enjoy being awarded extra bus runs such as sport and field trips, he involves himself in the actualities of the trip,” Kowalik said.

For example, Primeau once stepped in to coach first base when the baseball team he transported was shorthanded. Also, he participates as a volunteer at the New York State Envirothon when Berlin CSD students compete there.

“The students can sense his support for them and their extracurricular activities, whether they are scholastic or sporting events,” Kowalik said. “Mark will remember the individual accomplishments of the students, their updated records of wins and losses, their latest performances, and their upcoming schedules for sports and scholastic competitions.”

Primeau is also a driver trainer and a member of the Berlin CSD transportation department’s safety committee.

As part of his recognition, Primeau received a plaque and a free one-year membership with AAA Hudson Valley.

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