William Burns (center), a driver for Brunswick Central School District, received the New York Association for Pupil Transportation’s (NYAPT’s) annual School Bus Driver of the Year Award on July 13. He is pictured here with his wife, Cathy, and NYAPT Executive Director David Christopher. - Photo courtesy New York Association for Pupil Transportation

William Burns (center), a driver for Brunswick Central School District, received the New York Association for Pupil Transportation’s (NYAPT’s) annual School Bus Driver of the Year Award on July 13. He is pictured here with his wife, Cathy, and NYAPT Executive Director David Christopher.

Photo courtesy New York Association for Pupil Transportation

The New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) recently recognized one of the state’s school bus drivers at its annual conference and trade show held in Saratoga Springs, New York, from July 11 to 14.

William Burns, a driver for Brunswick Central School District, was presented with the NYAPT’s annual School Bus Driver of the Year Award after he was credited for helping prevent a student from being hit by a car that illegally passed his stopped school bus, according to a news release from the association. During the incident, Burns was reportedly able to reach out and grab the student as he was exiting the bus to prevent him from being struck.

“It is a tremendous honor to present William Burns with our School Bus Driver of the Year Award,” said David Christopher, NYAPT’s executive director, in the association’s news release. “Not only does he represent the pinnacle of his profession with student safety as his top priority, William is [also] known for going above and beyond of what’s expected of him every day he gets behind the wheel. From his positive interactions with the kids, community involvement, and mentoring of other drivers, this much deserved award is a credit to William’s dedication and professionalism.”

Burns has been a school bus driver for Brunswick Central School District for nearly 14 years and has also spent a number of years driving for a neighboring district. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was often seen at school and community events holding up a sign wishing students well, according to the NYAPT. The association also said that Burns is known throughout the district for his “unwavering positive attitude and kindness" and is considered "a true champion of student safety.”

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