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News Item: Homepage

MDUSD celebrates School Bus Drivers Appreciation Day April 25


Contact:  Ursula Kroemer Leimbach / communications@mdusd.org / mobile: (760) 705-6919


Mt. Diablo Unified celebrates

School Bus Drivers Appreciation Day April 25


District’s most senior bus driver has served 35 years;

 most senior mechanic has been with MDUSD since 1994


WHAT:  School Bus Drivers Appreciation Day


WHEN:  Tuesday, April 25, 2017


BACKGROUND:  The Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) will join the California Department of Education in marking April 25 as School Bus Driver Appreciation Day, honoring the hundreds of drivers across the state who carefully transport thousands of students each day, driving millions of miles annually in a safe, professional, competent, and respectful manner.


“Our school bus drivers are, for thousands of our students, the first face of the school day, and part of an important family of MDUSD staff who, collectively, make up the family away from home for our students,” said Dr. Nellie Meyer, Superintendent of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.  “We are incredibly fortunate to have drivers, mechanics, and other transportation team members who have served our students and community for many years, taking seriously the charge of safely transporting students to and from schools each day.”


The school buses operated by the Transportation department of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District travel a 150-square mile radius each day. They presently transport more than 2,000 regular and Special Education students each day to 49 school sites and centers. The fleet of 106 buses drives over 2 million miles a year. The Transportation department also transports students on over 300 athletic trips and over 1,500 field trips each year.


“Our drivers and mechanics start their day early,” said Meyer. “They’re often on the road before 6:30 a.m., and their cargo could not be any more precious or important. The relationships they develop with our students and their families are some of the most important in our district.”   


School bus drivers in California are required to meet very rigorous program qualifications from the California Department of Education, and undergo an intense testing and application process with the California Highway Patrol. School bus driver candidates are welcome to apply to MDUSD at any time. Application materials include:


·       School Bus Driver Trainee

·       School Bus Driver Trainee – Requirements

·       School Bus Driver Trainee – 10 Year Work History

·       School Bus Driver Trainee – Supplemental Questionnaire


MDUSD drivers will be treated to special refreshments on Tuesday, as well as a surprise for each driver.


MDUSD Transportation Services – By The Numbers

# of Buses

17 “big” buses, 29 van-type buses, and 60 wheelchair buses – for a total of 106 buses. This includes 17 buses running on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) clean energy! 

# of Miles Traveled Annually

Our buses travel more than 2,000,000 miles per school year.

# of Students Served

1,025 general education and 1,000 special needs students, plus hundreds more for field trips and other activities

# of Stops

Nine buses cover 37 stops daily, plus homework and activity bus stops for general education students.  There are 1,000+ stops for special needs students, going from home to school, therapies, and workability programs.

# of Drivers

90 bus drivers help get students to and from school, therapies, workability programs, field trips, and other activities.

# of Mechanics

Seven mechanics

Longest-serving Bus Driver

Our most senior driver, Bus Driver/Trainer Michelle Samson, has been with MDUSD nearly 35 years (September 1992)!

Longest-serving Mechanic

Our most senior mechanic has been with us since 1994 (23 years)!

Safety Technology

Our buses are equipped with a GPS location system and have on-board cameras for the safety of our students and drivers.


To arrange an interview in person or to get original photo files, please contact Ursula Leimbach at (760) 705-6919 or communications@mdusd.org.  Copies of the photos below are available upon request.


Michelle Samson

Bus Driver/Trainer Michelle Samson, our most senior driver, has served MDUSD students since September 1982.


Here Michelle is working with new trainers Sandra Martinez and Robert Green, while a trainee is learning how to drive the bus through the “rodeo” course.

mechanicbus lift

They may be behind the scenes, but our highly-skilled mechanics are essential to making sure our buses are well-maintained to ensure the very safest ride for our student passengers.  Jaime Alvarez, left, is one of our newer mechanics, having joined the transportation team in May 2012.  Jorge Velasquez, right, joined us in July 2011.



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Mt. Diablo Unified, located in Contra Costa County, is honored to serve approximately 32,000 students at one of more than 50 school sites in the cities of Clayton, Concord, Pleasant Hill; portions of Martinez, Pittsburg and Walnut Creek; and the unincorporated communities of Bay Point, Lafayette, and Pacheco. As part of a richly diverse community, MDUSD families represent numerous ethnic groups, speaking nearly 50 different languages and dialects. We offer innovative programs in Career Technical Education; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); extensive visual and performing arts programs; and rich foreign language and dual immersion offerings. MDUSD is also pleased to have launched its first middle college program, College Now, and is planning to open its first International Baccalaureate program in 2017.  Learn more at http://www.mdusd.org/.


Posted by: Joshua Wittman, District Admin, Mt. Diablo Unified School District Published:4/22/17
Audience: Homepage and Homepage