Every weekday morning and afternoon, children across the county are picked up and dropped off at school by those dogged enough to drive in the inclement Wyoming weather, while crossing guards keep a watchful eye on the roads and dispatchers make sure routes are run smoothly.
On Tuesday, the Campbell County School District recognized those dedicated transportation employees who went above and beyond.
Todor Simeonov, a school district mechanic, received the honor of transportation department employee of the year. Jerry Bowman, transportation director, said Simeonov not only brings a joy to the workplace but also a sense of humor and determination. Throughout his tenure, he’s worked his way up from a mechanic assistant to bus mechanic status.
Bowman also recognized the employees of the month from last school year.
Bus driver Nick Gliem kicked off the year followed by Deb Christopherson who has worked in the department for about a decade and takes charge on major field trips. Bowman said driver J.D. Jones was recognized in November and always takes the time to get out and greet students, while Evelyn Hendricks who drove for two decades still takes on substitute driving when needed.
Bowman said that Abbie Little, bus assistant, responds with care to her special needs students and also drives students to the Kid Clinic. Don Helms was recognized for his work as a crossing guard, making sure students at Campbell County High School and Conestoga Elementary School make it safely to their classrooms.
In March, Laurie Schell received the award for her smooth driving on routes south of Gillette and Simeonov earned his employee of the month award in April. Mike Hawkins rounded out the monthly awards in May after the office received calls about his good work with kids and his talent for creating great relationships with parents.
Lip sync fundraiser rakes in more than $7K
The second annual lip sync battle, put on by the Campbell County Suicide Prevention Coalition, raised more than $7,000 and doubled the number of guests that came out last year to support suicide prevention.
Ashley McRae, community prevention specialist with the coalition, said more than 150 people showed up for the event last Saturday. Next year, she said more seats are a definite go. The night included a raffle, the competition and dinner for everyone to enjoy.
The Judge’s Choice award went to 12-year-old Kaylee McRae for her performance of “Numb Little Bug,” while Jessica Diaz and family took home the People’s Choice award for their “La Bamba” rendition. Looking ahead, McRae hopes the fundraiser continues to grow next year.
“I hope we double next year,” she said. “We doubled from last year to this year so that’s the goal.”
TBHS senior selected to National FFA Band
Thunder Basin High School senior Molly Oakley will take to the stage as part of the National Future Farmers of America Band Nov. 1-4 in Indianapolis during the 2023 National FFA Convention and Expo.
Oakley is a part of the Coal Country FFA chapter at TBHS and will play the trombone in the national band, a National FFA Organization press release said.
Oakley was selected from a pool of nationwide applicants and will join other band members to rehearse for three days before the national convention begins. She is the daughter of Steve Oakley and Erin Lile.