Grimshaw School Bus Driver selected for PRSD's Transportation Award of Excellence

Grimshaw School Bus Driver selected for PRSD's Transportation Award of Excellence

For immediate release
August 30, 2017 -
Peace River School Division (PRSD) is pleased to announce that Helen Schmidt, School Bus Driver from the Grimshaw area has been selected as PRSD’s Transportation Award of Excellence recipient.  The annual award celebrates the dedication and commitment of transportation staff. Helen operates school bus route 77 in Grimshaw and started working for PRSD in 2008 as a spare school bus driver prior to obtaining a regular bus route in 2012.

When asked about how she feels about being selected for the award. Helen says she was surprised and feels appreciated.

“It was a surprise” says Helen. “It’s an extra thank you and it makes me feel appreciated.”

Helen says she started driving bus as a way to spend more time with her own children and a way to help out the community.

“I love driving bus - seeing the kids, hearing about and being a part of their lives. Kids are amazing and along the way they teach you things. I am lucky to have 25-30 of them on the bus that I learn from every day – they make me smile.”

Superintendent Paul Bennett and Support Services Director John Przybylski presented Helen with the award yesterday during a special ceremony with fellow school bus driver colleagues and Transportation management staff in attendance at the annual PRSD Transportation and Support Services start-up meeting held at Fairview High School.

During the special ceremony, John shared commentary from nominations received from the public regarding Helen’s contributions as a professional School Bus Driver.

“It was really special to hear what the families that nominated me had to say” says Helen.

Comments submitted by the public include: “Helen is always in a wonderful mood and my son LOVES having her for a school bus driver”, “She helps individual kids if they are having any problems and shows interest in the children. She acknowledges their talents and always deals with any issue, big or small, right away and cares for the kids’, “My children have fun chatting with her and love her attitude. They feel very safe and like to be on her bus”, “I just trust her so much with my son and love having her as our bus driver. We hope she keeps our route until our children are graduated“, and, “She has shown us how important a bus driver really is and we are very excited to nominate her. She works hard, and is always a happy face first thing in the morning.” 

Management staff commented that Helen is a positive influence for students and is also very organized, reliable, and eager to be involved. “She makes sure her safety training is completed on time, rarely needs to cancel her run, and last year, she served on the PRSD Bus Driver Safety Steering Committee” says Transportation Coordinator Crystal Gordey. “The comments from the parents say it all – she is a wonderful person, a fantastic school bus driver and is very deserving of this award. We also wish to thank the public for their response to the call for nominations – we are very pleased with the response.”

During the month of June, the PRSD Transportation Department asked the public to weigh in on who they felt was deserving of the award through online submissions. A total of 24 nominations were received with Helen being the employee with the highest amount of nominations received.

“On behalf of the board of trustees I am thrilled to congratulate Helen on receiving this very important award” says Board Chair Darren Kuester. “School bus drivers are such an important part of the education system. They serve students, their families, staff and communities as a whole” says Kuester. “Both my parents were school bus drivers so I can truly appreciate the impact they have as well as the care, time and passion they put forth toward the important job they do. Congratulations Helen and thank you for your service and dedication.” 

Photo (left to right):
Paul Bennett, Helen Schmidt and John Przybylski