Her title is Operations Manager, but to her colleagues, Sherri Cole is also known as “Mama Bear.” She is committed to caring for the students who ride our buses, and also inspiring the drivers at our location in Fresno, California, to perform at the highest level.
Sherri is marking her 30th year in the student transportation industry. She began her career in 1986 as a driver. During her early years behind the wheel, Sherri drove a route that covered more than 400 miles each day! She drew inspiration from her students. “I have always had a tender heart for special needs children,” says Sherri. “I feel blessed to have had the privilege to transport these students and to see some of the challenges they face.” The time helped strengthen her commitment to making riding the school bus a positive experience for all.
Impeccable Driving Record
While she was a driver, Sherri had an impeccable safety record. The California Highway Patrol recognized her with a Blackwell Award, which is presented to a school bus driver who achieves 20 years of accident-free driving. Sherri was inspired by our safety training, and it influenced her decision to become a state instructor. “I have trained state instructors and trainers with the concept that safety is our priority,” says Sherri. “Our relationship with the California Department of Education is something that sets us apart from different transportation providers.”
Putting Safety First
Because of her strict “by the book” policy, Sherri has helped to ensure that school buses remain the safest way for students to get to and from school. She recognizes the importance of ongoing training, “I am impressed that First Student teaches our drivers not only the rules of the road, but also to put safety above all because of the children we transport.”
A Good Feeling
Sherri’s experience as a school bus driver and manager helps others relate to and believe in her. She has the respect and support of those around her. “At the end of the day, when you know you have been part of a child’s safe ride to school and back home, and you also have the backing and support of your company, that is a good feeling,” says Sherri.