Education
12:38 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

US Secretary of Transportation Visits Oak Hill School to "Love the Bus."

Without school buses, hundreds of students at Oak Hill Elementary School in High Point – and millions of students nationwide – wouldn’t have safe, reliable access to public education. 

Credit Steve Biddle/WFDD

With that in mind, national, state and local leaders will emphasize the importance of school buses in the educational process Friday at Oak Hill.  Ken Hedgecock is Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Service at Thomas-Built Buses in High Point, one of the country’s largest manufacturers of school buses.

"The "Love the Bus" event is a national event that is sponsored by the American School Bus Council, a coalition of three major pupil transportation-related associations, that band together for the promotion of pupils on school buses," Hedgecock said. "As the three major manufacturers in the school bus industry, we kind of team together to make everyone aware of the importance of the yellow school bus and the key role it plays in the educational process.”

The main speaker at the event will be U.S. Secretary of Transportation – and former Charlotte Mayor -- Anthony Foxx, who will speak to students, staff and invited guests.  Ninety-nine percent of Oak Hill's students are eligible for free and reduced-price meals, and the majority rely on school bus transportation to bring them to school, and take them home, every day. A statement from Guilford County Schools says that Oak Hill has benefited from strong volunteer support from Thomas-Built Buses, which is based in High Point.

“The primary purpose of the event is just to try to bring some attention to the role that the yellow school bus plays in getting children to school safely, and also giving them equal access to education in many instances, particularly at Oak Hill, those children wouldn’t be able to get to school if there wasn’t a yellow school bus,” Hedgecock pointed out.

Other speakers at the "Love the Bus" event will include Carlas McCauley, the director of the U.S. Department of Education office of School Improvement Grants, Superintendent Maurice "Mo" Green, Rep. Howard Coble, and High Point Mayor Bernita Sims.  Oak Hill students will perform an interpretation of the children's book "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!" and perform a song.

Guilford County Schools operates 670 school buses, traveling 54-thousand miles per day, to transport 42-thousand students.  The district employs a thousand transportation workers.