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CCSD Congratulates Winners of Transportation Employee of the Year Award

CCSD Congratulates Winners of Transportation Employee of the Year Award

Cherokee County School District 2023 Transportation Employee of the Year awards winners are honored by department and district leaders at the department’s annual back-to-school kick-off meeting and training session.

The Cherokee County School District congratulates the winners of its second annual Transportation Employee of the Year Awards!

The awards recognize one outstanding school bus driver from each Innovation Zone (high school and feeder middle and elementary schools) and one from CCSD’s team of Special Education drivers; from this group, one overall CCSD winner is selected.

This year’s overall winner is Dawn Benton, a 27-year bus driver, who was the winner for the Etowah Innovation Zone.  The other Innovation Zone winners are: Cherokee Zone, Skylar Scales; Creekview Zone, Lynn Hudson; River Ridge Zone, Malese Orgeron; Sequoyah Zone, Nelma Pendley; Woodstock Zone, Mary Stout; and Special Education, Mary Lou Fox.  The winners are selected by their fellow bus drivers and the transportation department’s administration team.

“There is no more precious cargo than our students, and our bus drivers take great care to ensure they are transported safely to and from school each day,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “The winners of these awards are the best of the best, and we greatly appreciate them and all of our bus drivers for their dedication to excellence.  Dawn is an outstanding driver who, through her service and additional volunteerism, shows our students how much she cares about them and their success.  Congratulations and thank you!”

Dawn Benton

Dawn Benton

In addition to driving with excellence, Ms. Benton volunteers to help her route’s schools.  This includes assisting at Oak Grove ES STEAM Academy’s open house by teaching students bus safety and answering parents’ questions.  She also provides transportation for the Etowah High School band for its competitions and activities.

Ms. Benton additionally is a driver trainer for the transportation department, a role she was selected for due to her experience and enthusiasm.

“She makes sure the new drivers she trains are safe and ready to roll for the students in their care.  She pours into them the love that she has for the job she loves and enjoys,” her supervisor Karen Denham said.  “She goes above and beyond the job expectations and gives all the preparations for others to succeed.  She is a blessing to work with.”

Thanks to the sponsorship of the Cherokee County Educational Foundation and Peach State Thomas Buses, Ms. Benton received a $500 gift card and the Zone and Special Education winners each received a $100 gift card.  All of the winners additionally received a congratulatory banner and gift bag.  They were recognized before their peers at the Transportation department’s annual back-to-school kick-off meeting and training session earlier this month at River Ridge High School.  Credit Union of Georgia sponsored lunch for all those in attendance.

The recognition program is in addition to CCSD’s Support Staff Employees of the Year program, which all non-educators, including bus drivers, are eligible to win for their school or central office division.  Transportation department Executive Director Jim Georges started the Transportation awards program to give additional recognition to this valued group of employees.