Local Bus Driver Earns Award
It was a surprise when John Spacht was awarded the 2021 New York Association for Pupil Transportation School Bus Driver Instructor of the Year during a banquet in Saratoga earlier this month.
Spacht, who is the Southwestern Central School District and Frewsburg Central School District transportation supervisor, attended the annual New York Association for Pupil Transportation banquet presentation, as he does annually, not knowing he was going to be recognized for his work as a school bus instructor during the ceremony.
“Well it’s pretty awesome. It was definitely unexpected,” he said. “There are a lot of good instructors. You never think you are the one that’s going to get the award. When I was at the conference, I was called up to accept the award, which was the first I had heard about it. It’s a pretty prestigious award.”
Spacht said he has been the bus driver instructor for Southwestern for four years and, because of an agreement between Southwestern and Frewsburg, is now Frewsburg’s instructor as well. Because of his new responsibilities at Frewsburg, Spacht had to resign as a school board member while being vice president of the group.
“I only work for Southwestern, but I oversee (Frewsburg’s) whole department too,” he said. “I instruct the bus drivers. I’m trying to keep everyone safe.”
Spacht said during the COVID-19 pandemic he had to be creative to teach safety to the bus drivers and the students on the bus. He created safety drill videos that have been downloaded more than 4,000 times statewide, which assist people with school bus safety.
“We have the safest school bus record in the country in New York state,” he said. “I love being an instructor. It’s great to be around people and teach them how to be safe.”