December 16, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393

Assistant Secretary for Program Support and Pupil Transportation and Staff Member Receive Award for Safety and Security Training for School Bus Drivers

(Santa Fe)--On November 30, 2004 Gilbert Perea, Assistant Secretary for Program Support and Pupil Transportation, and Tom Gould received an award for the nationally recognized safety and security training for school bus drivers. The New Mexico Department of Transportation's Research Bureau presented the award. Perea was involved with the concept and implementation strategy of the safety and security training for school bus drivers.

Perea said, “While I am honored to have accepted the award, Tom Gould of my staff was instrumental in the development and training of 199 trainers statewide. He has also provided the safety training material to the Western States and has trained approximately 50 trainers from across the country in November at a National conference on school transportation. Our office continues to receive compliments and requests for the training program. This was all done in cooperation with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security under the leadership of General Sobel.”

Secretary Veronica C. García said, “I am very proud that Gilbert Perea and Tom Gould were recognized for the outstanding work he and his staff are doing to protect New Mexico students. I was so impressed with the program that I insisted the districts implement the full training to all school transportation (over 3000) employees by October 1, 2004.”