GEORGE SONTAG AWARD

george-sontag-award-picThe George Sontag Jr. School Bus Driver of the Year is given in honor of OAPT Charter Member George Sontag Jr., to the school bus driver of the year as judged by the OAPT Officers.  It is the intent of this award to recognize bus drivers who exhibit outstanding leadership and professional conduct in the school transportation field, both in the district they represent as well as in the State of Ohio.  The award also recognizes bus drivers who have contributed to the advancement of pupil transportation as a profession.

George R. Sontag, Jr. began his career at the age of 13, when he first began working on school buses at a small mom-and-pop garage in Miamiville, Ohio.  In 1957, at age 18, he started driving a 1946 International that was owned by the garage for which he worked. The bus transported students to Indian Hill Schools.

On April 5, 1965, he was hired as Transportation Supervisor at Indian Hill Local SD where he supervised 33 drivers, drove a bus, and was the mechanic. He also wore many other hats during his tenure at Indian Hill including Buildings and Grounds.

On August 11, 1974, he was hired as Supervisor at Milford EVSD where he managed 57 drivers. He retired from Milford in 1991 after 34 years of service in school transportation.

During his career, he worked as an expert witness in court trials involving school transportation. He has served both NAPT and OAPT in many ways including holding office and planning conferences. He has also worked as a school transportation consultant, which is what he thought he might do in retirement.

And now, for the rest of the story:

After being retired for about 18 months, George accepted the position of Transportation Supervisor for Centerville City SD.  Following the likes of Thelma O’Donnell, he agreed to work for two years.  This prompted a move from the house where they raised their children and ran a small auto repair shop with his family, to Centerville.  December 2012 marked George’s 20th year in Centerville.

George has worked in the school transportation field longer than he has been married to his sweetheart Barb (almost 53 years), and longer than he has had children. He is dedicated to making sure that every child gets the opportunity to be the best they can be by starting and ending each day with a caring word from their school bus driver.

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2017 George Sontag Jr Award Winner
Ivy M. Kunkle
Fayette Local SD
 

 

Previous recipients of the George Sontag Award:

2017Ivy M. KunkleFayette Local SD
2016Shawn OstChillicothe City SD
2015Mike MericlePaulding EVSD
2014Mary WooldridgeMadison Local SD
2013Sandra PaceParma City SD