main content starts here

School bus safety expert is BC transportation leader

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on August 16, 2018

woman standing next to school busWhere can you find one of New York state’s most highly-trained experts in school bus safety? The answer is right here in Bethlehem, where the district’s transportation director, Cindy Jurewicz, recently earned her Master Instructor (MI) certification. The Master Instructor credential is the highest achievement awarded by the New York State Education Department for Pupil Transportation Services.

The Master Instructor program involves intensive coursework, lasting more than a year, in which a select group of transportation leaders from across the state is trained to deliver top-level professional development to their colleagues and serve as experts who assist in the development of school transportation safety initiatives statewide.

“It’s similar to a master’s degree in other professions,” said Jurewicz. “Now, not only can I help identify areas where school bus safety can be improved, I am able to develop solutions and training ideas that I believe will benefit not only students here in Bethlehem, but in all communities across the state.”

Jurewicz said as part of the Master Instructor course, she and some of her class colleagues were charged with rewriting the 30 hour basic course curricula that is required for every new school bus driver within the first year of being a school bus driver in New York state. That training is delivered by New York School Bus Driver Instructors (SBDI) who are certified by the State Education Department. 

Tapping into their own experiences in the field, the group provided feedback to improve how training is delivered and updated topic areas that are most pressing for school bus drivers, including accommodations for special needs students and emergency preparedness.

“Our SBDIs provide critical safety training and information to all school bus drivers, monitors and attendants during mandatory training sessions that are held for twice a year, every year,” said Jurewicz. “As a Master Instructor, I get to ‘train the trainers.’ It is a privilege to be a mentor and support the important work these individuals do every day.”

Jurewicz has worked for the Bethlehem Central School District since 2002. She has served as the department’s director since 2013 where she oversees more than 150 bus drivers, attendants and mechanics. She began her career in student transportation as a bus driver in another Capital Region district 30 years ago.

“We are very proud of Ms. Jurewicz becoming a Master Instructor. She is an accomplished communicator who not only has a passion for learning but for sharing her know-how with our transportation staff,” said Superintendent Jody Monroe. “Her leadership on school transportation safety issues is an asset to the entire community.”

While making sure students are delivered to and from school safely is the department’s number one priority, Jurewicz said that keeping the bus fleet well maintained is a benefit in more ways than one.

She said this summer the district was able to sell 12 buses — six large and six small – for $108,000 at public auction.

“Our buses are highly sought after thanks to the care and precise maintenance of our dedicated BC mechanics,” said Jurewicz, who noted similar vehicles usually only fetch worth between $1,500 and $2,000 each as trade-ins. “Our team at BC, including those mechanics, our drivers and attendants go above and beyond in their service to the district and I am proud to be a part of that team.”

“We are very proud of Ms. Jurewicz becoming a Master Instructor. She is an accomplished communicator who not only has a passion for learning but for sharing her know-how with our transportation staff,” said Superintendent Jody Monroe. “Her leadership on school transportation safety issues is an asset to the entire community.”

While making sure students are delivered to and from school safely is the department’s number one priority, Jurewicz said that keeping the bus fleet well maintained is something the district can be proud of from a fiscal perspective.

She said this summer the district was able to sell 12 buses — six large and six small – for $108,000 at public auction.

“Our buses are highly sought after thanks to the care and precise maintenance of our dedicated BC mechanics,” said Jurewicz, who noted similar vehicles usually only fetch worth between $1,500 and $2,000 as trade-ins. “Our team at BC including those mechanics, our drivers and attendants go above and beyond in their service to the district.”

More news from the Transportation Department


Anuar Dominguez, a longtime mechanic for Bethlehem, has earned national recognition for his work after being named one of School Transportation News’ “Bus Garage Stars” for 2018. Dominguez has earned an impressive bus maintenance record caring for vehicles in the district’s fleet. Congratulations, Mr. Dominguez!

photo with text