Position: Director of Transportation Services
School: Anderson School District 4
School District: Anderson School District 4
City, State: Pendleton, SC
Music that Describes John
John Chmelar was nominated by an anonymous colleague.
"John is the best Director of Transportation ever," his nominator said. "He is approachable, dependable, creative, and always willing to go the extra mile to ensure the unique transportation needs of our students. John has been with our district team for a few short years, but the impact he has made on transportation services since he has been here is immeasurable."
"I have had the pleasure of working with John at the school level, but his leadership has created a positive feeling across the district. Our district is small, but it is still busy. John took the time to report to our individual school to have a face-to-face session with every single bus rider at the beginning of the school year. The purpose of that meeting was to give the students an opportunity to see school staff and transportation staff on the same page. We all want them to know that safety is a priority, and we will work together to hold students accountable for their actions while they are riding buses in the district. John responds to the school when we need to make a route change, revise a student’s IEP transportation needs, and when we have problems. He does all of this with a positive attitude and valuable feedback. The requests that he and his team receive from our schools are great, but they always seem to meet or exceed our expectations."
At the start of the pandemic, Mr. Chmelar had to re-create routes in order for drivers to deliver meals to students who needed them. At the start of the school year, he and his team have had to be very creative again to transport a myriad of students on various days based on a staggered start implemented at the district level. Students attended in-person for the first two weeks based on last name, and some afternoon routes had to be delivered twice. Again, these are examples of the challenges that the transportation department has faced with grace, dignity, and an unwavering attitude of service.
"We are so thankful to John for his heart of service and many talents," said his nominator.