The New York School Bus Contractors Association recently recognized First Student driver Annabelle Coykendall with the prestigious Heart of the Industry Award at their annual convention in New York. The Association recognizes individuals in the industry who have demonstrated the highest level of professionalism, a tremendous commitment to student safety, and a profound dedication to the school district and community in which they serve.
Annabelle Coykendall started driving a school bus some 40 years ago. She started her career driving for Godeffory Car Company Inc. in 1976 and was paid $50 a week. In 2005, First Student acquired Godeffory Car and Annabelle became an employee of First Student at the Valley Central Location #12474.
Over the past four decades, Annabelle has transported thousands of children and now drives the grandchildren of some of those former students. She knows each child by name and they fondly call her “Mrs. C”. At the beginning of the year when she pulls up to a bus stop, parents recognize her and know their children are safe. Annabelle continues to be a model employee. Her impeccable work ethic shows forth in her dedication to the job and her unrelenting commitment to safety.
Director of Business Development John BeGasse, Assistant Location Manager John Sinsabaugh and Area General Manager Sean McCabe (pictured below with Annabelle) were on hand when she received her award.
“I am so proud of Annabelle winning this award,” said Assistant Location Manager John Sinsabaugh. “Her commitment to the children she transports, and her unrelenting pursuit of providing a safe environment for her students is what makes Annabelle truly a remarkable driver.”
If you ask Annabelle if she ever plans to retire, she just responds, “I love my job and I would rather drive my bus than my car. I’m going to drive this bus as long as I can.”
First Student congratulates Annabella Coykendall on receiving the Heart of the Industry award. Her continued commitment and dedication is truly an inspiration to us all.