For Immediate Release -- May 29, 2015
Contact: Barry Brown / Communications and Public Relations Officer 831.784.4245
Eleanor Arroyo / Supervisor III, MCOE Transportation 831.755.6428
CHP Names Greg Perez the School Bus Driver of the Year
MCOE Driver Honored for Safety and Service to Special Needs Students
Salinas, CA – Since joining the Monterey County Office of Education (MCOE) in 1981, school bus driver Greg Perez has logged over 780,000 accident-free miles, while transporting special needs students around the county. That’s roughly the equivalent of circling the globe 31 times without an accident.
On Friday, the California Highway Patrol named Perez its School Bus Driver of the Year (Southern California area) at a ceremony held at the Monterey County Office of Education in Salinas. The CHP award is given annually to a school bus driver who has shown outstanding performance and exceeded expectations.
“This is a big deal,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “I don’t think many people realize what Greg and the state’s 34,000 other bus drivers are asked to do. We entrust them with our children’s safety. It’s a huge responsibility, and Greg does it quietly, efficiently and safely, every single day.”
Perez attends monthly training sessions on safety, first aid, fire equipment, bus evacuation, and procedures specific to transporting special needs students.
In addition to being named School Bus Driver of the Year, Perez received the Commissioner’s Medal of Distinction, the CHP’s highest honor, and a resolution from the California State Senate.
“Greg stands out for the dedication he shows to his students. To him, they are ‘his children,’ and their comfort and safety are his top priority,” said Dr. Nancy Kotowski, Monterey County Superintendent of Schools.
As if to underscore that point, one of Perez’s former students was in the audience to show her admiration for the driver. The woman, now in her 20s, first rode on his bus when she was three years old.