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Employee Spotlights

Donna Temporal | First Student is Like Family

A Great Place in a Fantastic Industry
Safety Manager Donna Temporal loves working for First Student because, “This industry is fantastic.” She loves her job and loves coming to work. “First Student is a great place to work,” Donna says. “We’re like a family. There’s good camaraderie. People help each other out.”  Donna’s also happy to point out, “I don’t think I’ve ever called in sick in 15 years.” She does, however, admit to having the flu once and feeling relieved when the district announced a snow day.  Now entering her 15th year with First Student, Donna’s gone from driver to safety manager. “I started driving a big bus in 2000 and moved to a special needs bus.” Now, as a safety manager, Donna’s responsible for helping our drivers and other team members understand what’s involved in ensuring the safe transportation of our students.

Motivated by Our Students
Donna states clearly that it’s all about our students. “The kids are my motivator. I want them to arrive safely – at school and back home – every day. If I can play a part in the students’ safety, then I know I’ve done my job well.”  As a driver, Donna always went out of her way to know a little something about each of the students on her route, something that helped her create a connection with them. “The students are going to behave better if we know something about each other. It’s those little things that create that human connection, that bring us together.”

Vested in Each Other
Recognizing the value of connection is equally important to Donna in her dealings with her First Student teammates. And when asked what it is about our environment that makes First Student so successful, Donna quickly goes right to one of our core values: our being supportive of each other. “We have a vested interest in each other,” Donna explains. “We recognize that when one of us succeeds, we all succeed.”  Donna is appreciative of the way her team supports one another. She says her team members know that, at any moment, there’s someone they can talk to. “Whether it’s a personal problem, a bus problem or a routing problem, we’re engaged. We want our team to know that their opinions and concerns are heard. And we try to address all of their concerns.”

Thankful for Our Drivers
Having started as a driver herself, Donna realizes how important this position is. She insists, “Our drivers are the bedrock of our company. They’re key to our success.” Donna’s careful to remind us that everything we do is in support of our drivers, ensuring their ability to transport our students safely to and from school every day. According to Donna, what makes First Student so successful is, “All of us coming together to support our drivers and ensure the safe transportation of our students.”

Always Up for a Challenge
Donna observes that everyone at First student is always on the go. “In this industry, there are so many challenges. You know, one day everything runs smoothly. Then, the next day, you’re in high gear handling multiple issues. It’s like a chess game – you’re always thinking three moves ahead.” And, at the end of each day, says Donna, “There’s a sense of gratification.”

Dedicated to Safety
When it comes to safety, Donna recognizes that this is everyone’s #1 priority. As a safety manager, however, it’s her responsibility to ensure that safety remains #1. “We have safe, reliable vehicles. We take our drivers through extensive training to make sure they’re the best drivers in the industry.”

Living Our Brand Promise
Through her support of her teammates, her commitment to our customers and her dedication to safety, Donna Temporal helps First Student deliver on our promise of: Caring for students today, tomorrow, together.®

US Corporate Headquarters
191 Rosa Parks Street, 8th Floor,
Cincinnati, OH 45202

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