Transportation, Student Nutrition recognized
Departments recognized for their role in student safety
Posted on 05/13/2021
PPI logo   Each year the Missouri Highway Patrol awards the Fleet Excellence Award to any school bus fleet that scores better than a 90 percent on the annual safety inspection. This year, for the 19th consecutive year, FZSD received the Fleet Excellence Award.
   “As best we can tell, this is a state record for a fleet our size,” Transportation Director Jeff Schwepker said. “It’s really an incredible thing to achieve. Rich and the mechanics do an amazing job.”
   Rich Gouge is in his 19th year as the FZSD Fleet Manager. In the 10 years since Schwepker joined the district, the fleet of more than 170 buses has scored a perfect 100 percent six times on the safety inspection. The other four times, the district scored a 99 percent.
   “We’ve had a couple of years where one bulb will go out on one of the buses during the inspection,” Schwepker says. “Sometimes, that’s just how it goes.”
  That was how it went this year, with the fleet scoring a 99 percent on the State Highway Patrol Safety Inspection. 
   In a similar mark of excellence and commitment to student safety, Student Nutrition Services received perfect marks on all kitchen health inspections this year. In the past five years, Fort Zumwalt’s 27 kitchens have been inspected 271 times and scored a perfect 100 percent 266 times. The lowest score in the past five years was one instance of 93 percent.
   The high marks from both departments are especially notable during the pandemic, when each has been pressed by staffing shortages and increased responsibilities.
   “The kitchen staff take great pride in providing a nutritious meal in a clean environment,” says Paul Becker, Director of Student Nutrition Services. “I'm proud of each staff member for their efforts and commitment to the students of Fort Zumwalt School District."