Pair of Exeter bus transportation employees receive advanced certifications

Benjamin Bernhart, Director of Transportation for the Exeter Township School District, has been approved for initial status as a Pennsylvania Certified School Transportation Professional by the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO).

Bernhart has been employed by the district since 2018, initially as the Assistant Transportation Supervisor, and then taking over as the Director of Transportation in August of 2021.

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In order to be granted the professional certification status by PASBO, a school business official must meet high personal, ethical and professional standards established for the certification program. These include formal education, experience and continuing education. Once attained, the certification must be renewed every four years through a program of professional development.

A published author of more than 75 publications and magazine articles about transportation and railroads, including the training manual, “The Complex Relationship between School Buses and Highway-Railroad Grade Crossing,” Bernhart’s truly inspired by both the history and modern-day methods of getting people from point A to point B.

Moreover, he’s a true advocate for his drivers, mechanics and staff, and driven by a desire to always learn more and become better at his career, which is evident by the numerous certifications and awards he’s received, including being one of the top four contestants in the Berks County School Bus Safety Competition in 2017 and 2019 and earning a Special Needs Transportation certificate from the National Association for Pupil Transportation that only 32 people in the US have been so honored to have earned.

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During their meeting earlier this month, the Exeter Township School District Board of Directors recognized Bernhart by saying, “We are grateful for Ben’s commitment to the students of the district. His training and experience go well above what’s required by the state because of his passion to provide the absolute best, safest transportation for them as they are transported to and from school, and because he deeply believes that parents deserve peace of mind that their children are in the best possible hands as they are on their way to learn.”

Kaisha D.J. McCulley, a permanent substitute bus driver for the Exeter Township School District, recently completed the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation CDL school bus instructor training course.

Those who complete this course are able to instruct and teach all aspects of CDL B licenses for school buses and trucks.

Through this certification, McCulley is also able to provide training that meets the new extensive United Stated Department of Transportation/Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CDL training guidelines. To be accepted to the program, McCulley had to be recommended by a school administration and have a spotless driver’s license record for the past three years.

McCulley’s supervisor, Benjamin Bernhart, Director of Transportation, said that she’s an invaluable asset to the district. “As a substitute driver, she has to know every road within the entire district and all 207 different run routes Exeter operates on a daily basis. This is an extremely difficult challenge and can be very nerve racking; however, she approaches this matter with a cheerful positive attitude. Parents love her as she always had the best interest of students at heart.” Bernhart added, “She is an exceptional school bus driver and should be recognized as such.”

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