A fixture of the Pawling Central School District was honored last month, as Vincent Valentino was named School Bus Driver of the Year by the Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board. Valentino was awarded this honor for his devotion to safety and exemplary record of transporting students in Pawling for the past seven years.
In a ceremony held at the Pawling Central School District Transportation Department on Wednesday, April 25, Valentino was honored by Sheriff Adrian “Butch” Anderson, Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board Administrator William C. Johnson, and numerous PCSD officials and members of law enforcement.
The Driver of the Year Award is presented as part of the Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board’s promotion of bus safety, and the Operation Safe Stop Project. The project seeks to raise awareness and prevention of illegal passing of stopped school buses across New York State.
“This is to recognize school bus drivers, who on a daily basis are responsible for the most important possession of parents; their children,” said William Johnson of the Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board. “It is also to increase public awareness of school bus safety issues.” Sheriff Anderson also spoke on Valentino's behalf. “Getting on the school bus is where kids start their freedom,” said Anderson. “And when you have people like Vinny out there driving buses, it means a lot to the parents. He’s a caring man; he’s an all around good guy. He has a love of the job, and that means so much to the people of Pawling.”
Vincent Valentino has amassed 37 years without an accident throughout his career, spending the last seven as a driver for the Pawling Central School District. “I think this is great, and this is for all the bus drivers, because we all do a great job,” he said. “And I will continue to do my best.” Valentino is the seventeenth recipient of the Driver of the Year Award since its inception in 2002.