CCSD GaDER Award Winners

L-R - Mike Warner, Associate Director of Fleet Maintenance, Rick Grisham, Executive Director of Transportation and William Cook, EPD Environmental Engineer and Manager of the GaDER Program

Cobb County Schools was honored last month at the Georgia Association for Pupil Transportation’s (GAPT) 50th Annual Conference & Trade Show at Jekyll Island, when the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) presented Cobb County Schools with the GaDER Gold Award.

The GaDER Gold Award is awarded to school systems that have reduced emissions in 26-74% of their school bus fleet through: Early Replacement, Installation of Emissions Control Equipment and/or the Use of Alternative Fuels. Rick Grisham, Executive Director of Transportation and Mike Warner, Associate Director of Fleet Maintenance, Cobb County School System accepted the award.

EPD representatives attended this year’s GAPT Conference to present the Georgia Diesel Emissions Reduction (GaDER) Awards to school systems who reduced diesel emissions pollution in school bus fleets.  Emissions reductions are achieved through the early replacement of older buses, the use of alternative fuels, or by installing emissions control devices on the buses. The GADER School Bus Program assists Georgia school systems by offering grants, technical assistance and education. You can learn more about the GaDER Program by visiting  www.gaderprogram.org

William Cook, EPD Environmental Engineer and Manager of the GaDER Program says, “Older diesel buses emit a high amount of particles in the exhaust.  New buses and those that have been retrofitted with diesel particulate filters reduce these particulates by more than 85%, which results in a significant improvement in the air quality inside and around the school bus.   Transportation Directors and their staff who receive a GaDER award should be celebrated for their hard work and dedication to ensure that school children are riding in the safest and cleanest buses available.”

GAPT is a professional organization comprised of school transportation associates throughout the State of Georgia whose vision statement is as follows:  “GAPT will serve as the leading resource for pupil transportation professionals in the State of Georgia and inspire a culture of continuous improvement.” The organization’s mission statement has become their focus: “GAPT will build capacity in pupil transportation professionals by providing information, promoting innovation and serving as an advocate for those professionals while they partner with their community to meet the needs of their students.” This year’s conference celebrated the organization’s 50th year.