GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — The Minnesota School Bus Operators Association (MSBOA) recognized several members with awards at its annual summer conference, which was held here last week.
MSBOA presented the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award to Judy Koch. Established in 2006, the Lifetime Achievement Award honors past or present members of the MSBOA who have dedicated their lives to the Minnesota school bus industry.
Koch owned and operated school bus operations in Waconia with her husband Curtis. After Curtis’ death, son Brian took over the business, with Judy staying on. Judy tried to retire once, but she keeps getting pulled back in to help and serve her community and family, according to MSBOA.
Judy recently told a story where she came in to substitute drive and she ended up driving the oldest bus in the fleet. A little girl on the bus wondered aloud, “What is that handle you keep pulling to open the door? I’ve never seen one of those before.”
Meanwhile, Doug Grisim was recognized with the Jim DeVeau Award, which was established to honor individuals who have devoted themselves to school bus safety in Minnesota.
Grisim, owner of Bluff Country School Bus Service, was selected for this award based on recommendations from his peers and for the work he has done for Minnesota school bus operators.
Grisim has served on the MSBOA board, including one term as president. He is always ready to voice his thoughts on industry concerns and pushes others to find the safest way to transport students, according to MSBOA.
The Grisim family has been in the school bus business for generations, starting with Doug’s grandfather, who transported students to school in conjunction with his morning milk run. Most recently, Doug’s son Rusty joined the team, running a branch in an expanded location.
Additionally, six school bus drivers from around the state were selected for the 2016 Transportation Specialist Awards.
The drivers were nominated by their supervisors for exemplifying the best of the best in school transportation.The applications were judged by the Minnesota Office of Pupil Transportation Safety on criteria such as years of service, dedication to safety, community service achievements, communication with school staff, and letters of recommendation from parents, coworkers, students, and school staff.
The 2016 Transportation Specialist Awards were presented to:
• Dan Berg, Monarch Bus Service Inc., Hastings
• Dean Guida, Vision Transportation of Buffalo
• Jami Krick, Hoglund Transportation, Monticello
• David Lehman, Madelia Bus Service, Madelia
• Cindy McCormick, Faribault Transportation, Faribault
• Don Nix, Vision Transportation, Elk River
In addition to the award, a $1,000 check was awarded in each driver’s name to go toward a scholarship fund for deserving youth in the school district they serve.
The MSBOA was created in 1948 to focus efforts on school bus safety for passengers in the state. More information on the organization is available at www.msboa.com.