Out in Front
Mike Russell is used to working behind the scenes; however, he is now front and center among his First Student colleagues. As one of six employees featured in posters that highlight our new tagline and values, Mike’s picture now hangs on the walls of our more than 500 locations across North America. His poster reminds employees and visitors of our brand promise: Caring for students today, tomorrow, together. Mike has been doing just that for nearly 21 years.
Ensuring the Highest Standards
Mike is the technician in charge at our location in Airdrie, Alberta. He is responsible for ensuring our buses are maintained at the highest levels, which he believes makes us a great company. “When it comes to safety, we are always trying to improve. We never settle for what we have. We are always striving to be the best.” Mike understands the tremendous responsibility of our business and the trust parents place in us to safely transport their children to and from school. There have been many times when Mike has gone above and beyond to ensure a better start or finish to the school day. “Winter weather can present many challenges. On really cold mornings, I am first onsite at our satellite location to start the buses and ensure they are warm and ready for the first pickups. Students, parents and our customers should be able to count on us to deliver even in the harshest conditions.”
A Small Act of Kindness
Mike recognizes the opportunity he has to have a positive impact on a child’s day can extend beyond the shop. He considers his First Student team members part of his extended family. Mike is always looking for ways to bring smiles to the faces of our bus drivers’ own children. One experience was particularly memorable and impactful. Mike gave the son of a driver a motorbike that needed a little TLC. The boy and his dad were able to work on it together. “The child thought I had given him the world,” Mike shared. “I saw first-hand how a small act of kindness can have a profound impact.” Our Top Priority
Mike has spent his entire career with First Student. He joined the company in 1994 as a member of the body shop in Calgary. Over the past two decades, he has helped provide safe and reliable transportation to thousands of families. While the names and faces are different, there is one thing that Mike believes will not change, “As a company, we are never going to stop striving to make students our top priority. We are committed to Caring for them today, tomorrow, together.®”