Peter Mannella, Author at School BUSRide


Our Drivers Are Family…Treat Them Accordingly

“Essential workers.” “First people children see every day.” “Critical to children’s education.” Most of us have said these things, with good cause, about our school bus drivers…which makes the current rash of violent acts against drivers so hard to reconcile. As the 2021-22 school year nears the first quarter mark, it has been marked by […]

The Time for Advocacy Is NOW

Several months ago, we explored the issue of advocacy for school transportation professionals. Given the time of year and the environment in which we find ourselves, it seems appropriate to revisit that topic and go a little deeper. Why? Because it is getting pretty real out there! The nation is still reeling under the COVID […]

It’s Okay to Take a Bow…

Over the many years I have been fortunate enough to be a part of the school bus community, I have often said that school transportation folks are ‘problem solvers’ and that you tend to not pat yourselves on the back very often.  The culture of school transportation is to recognize the situation at hand, address […]

SPEAKING UP…SPEAKING OUT FOR SAFETY

When I first was hired in Oneida County, New York, in 1974, the County Executive I worked for told me to remember two things, one of which is the focus of this article. I have tried to live by it ever since: “If there is bad news or there are hard decisions needing my attention, […]

A.C.E.: NOT THE WINNING KIND

  By Peter Mannella Several years ago, at an annual conference I was planning in New York, I invited a guest speaker who specialized in child and family social trends and conditions. My intention was for her to share information with the pupil transportation professionals in the room about the children who get our attention […]

When You Look in the Mirror

When you look in the professional mirror each morning, what do you see looking back at you?  Do you see a transportation professional? Or do you see an education professional responsible for the safe and efficient transportation of America’s school children? Like our school colleagues in psychology and nursing and facilities and library science, we […]

Advocacy is Part of Our Job

When I worked as a professional lobbyist, I trained our clients in grassroots advocacy strategies. The credo of our firm focused on enabling average New Yorkers to speak out for themselves as the strongest form of advocacy. We believed that every citizen should learn about and develop their capacity for speaking out about – and […]

Who is Essential?

Essential workers. The news media and politicians talk about them all the time, speaking in almost reverent terms about vitally essential workers: EMTs, fire fighters, nurses, nurse aides, teachers, and restaurant workers. And yet, there is rarely a mention of school bus drivers when ‘essential workers’ are invoked. In 1970, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell wrote the […]

Changes in Government Leadership 2021: How We Are Affected

As a new president transitions to the Oval Office, many pieces must be put in place by the new administration in a coordinated fashion. One of the critical steps that must be handled effectively and efficiently is the appointment of key staff members, including Cabinet Secretaries and other agency leadership. While school transportation is not […]

New York Association Steps Up Advocacy

As professionals, we sometimes need to take things into our own hands and work together to make things happen.  Often that’s how things actually get done in our world. Many of our state associations are engaged in advocacy for school bus legislation and funding.  One of the states that has been active in advocating for […]