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What Makes Your School Bus Driver Special?

Second Annual National Essay Contest Seeks Driver of the Year

High Point, N.C. – The wheels on the school bus go round and round to the tune of about 4 billion miles and 10 million round trips each year. Even with all those miles, school buses have a safety record unequalled in the transportation industry. Thatfs why in 2006, as part of the companyfs 90th anniversary celebration, Thomas Built Buses created the national gChildrenfs Choice School Bus Driver of the Yearh essay contest to recognize drivers everywhere.

gThe industry knows how critically important the role of the bus driver is. But often the daily success of a safe and reliable trip is overlooked,h says John OfLeary, president and CEO, Thomas Built Buses. gThis is our way of saying thank you to bus drivers around the country for taking such good care of the precious cargo they carry.h

With the help of their parents, children in kindergarten through sixth grade can nominate their favorite drivers by submitting a 90-word essay about what makes their driver so special.

The contest, now in its second year, runs through July 16, 2007, and will award the child who nominates the winning driver with a $1,000 educational savings bond and a laptop computer. The Childrenfs Choice School Bus Driver of the Year will receive a $1,000 Visa(r) gift card.

Entries can be entered with or without photos or illustrations by mailing them to:

Childrenfs Choice Essay Contest


1435 W. Morehead Street., Suite #140

Charlotte, NC 28208

School Bus Fleet magazine editor Steve Hirano and Bob Ramsdell senior vice president of Human Resources and Safety for Durham School Services, the third largest student transportation provider in the United States, will assist Thomas Built Buses representatives in judging entries. Winners will be notified and announced in September.

gSchool bus drivers are a critical link in our pupil transportation system,h says Hirano. gThey make a difference in the lives of children all over the country. I am happy to help Thomas Built Buses honor these unsung heroes.h

All winners and runners-up will receive Thomas Built Buses jackets and Saf-T-Liner(r) C2 school bus lunch boxes. Winners will be featured on the Thomas Built Buses Web site and will be included in national and local publicity.


The contest begins March 1, 2007. All entries must be received by Monday, July 16, 2007. Abbreviated rules: Entries must include a 90-word essay about why the nominated driver should win. Photo inclusion is optional. Written entries should be typed or legibly printed on a single sheet of 8-1/2 X 11h paper. Photos and entries will not be returned.

All entries must include a completed entry form with the first and last name of the child and parent or legal guardian, home address, school name, contact phone number, a parent or legal guardianfs signature approving participation and the full name of the driver, along with the school bus district they serve. Forms are available at www.thomasbus.com/contest. Entries will be judged based on essay content, originality and driver qualifications.

To qualify for nomination, drivers must have been a school bus driver for at least five years and be in good standing with their employer.

To obtain an official set of rules or an entry form, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Childrenfs Choice Essay Contest, HMH, 1435 W. Morehead Street, Suite #140, Charlotte, NC 28208. For more information, visit www.thomasbus.com/contest.

Thomas Built Buses (www.thomasbus.com) is the leading manufacturer of school buses in North America, with more than one-third of the market. Since the first Thomas Built bus rolled off the assembly line in 1936, the company has focused on delivering the smartest and most innovative buses in North America.

Thomas Built Buses is a member of Freightliner LLC, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America and a leading manufacturer of class 3-8 vehicles. Freightliner LLC produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Freightliner is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the worldfs largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.

2007 Childrenfs Choice School Bus Driver of the Year essay contest rules By submitting an entry, parents agree to the following: You certify you are the sole author or sole owner of the material you are submitting to Thomas Built Buses and that such material is not based on or derived from any copyrighted, confidential or proprietary material of any third party. You agree to indemnify Thomas Built Buses, Freightliner LLC and HMH for all damages and expenses that may be incurred in connection with the entry submitted.

All entries (including photos or illustrations, if submitted), and all rights to use, reproduce, publish, modify and distribute the entry and photo or illustration, become the exclusive property of Thomas Built Buses and will not be returned. Thomas Built Buses and its licensees may reproduce, distribute, publish, display, edit, modify, create derivative works and otherwise use the materials for any purpose in any form and on any medium on a worldwide basis and without additional compensation.

You agree to be bound by the decisions of the judges, which are final. Thomas Built Buses reserves the right to edit, modify, adapt, copyright, publish, use and reproduce any and all materials without further compensation.

Judging: All entries will be judged by an independent panel of judges based on essay originality and driver qualifications for nomination. The decision of judges is final and binding in all respects. Winners will be notified on or about 9/17/2007. Sponsor will not respond to any questions concerning this contest. Prizes: Child Grand Prize Winner: $1,000 educational savings bond and laptop computer. Driver of the Year: $1,000 Visa(r) Gift Card. Grand prize winners and top finalists also will receive Thomas Built Buses jackets and Saf-T-Liner(r) C2 school bus lunch boxes. Runner-up driver and child winners will receive school bus lunchboxes and Thomas Built Buses jackets. Grand prize and runner-up winners also will be featured on the Thomas Built Buses Web site and will be included in national and local hometown publicity. Expenses not stated are winner’s sole responsibility. Only one prize per winning driver and winning child.

Notification: Winners will be required to sign and return an affidavit of essay originality, an affidavit of eligibility, a liability release and, where lawful, a publicity release within 14 days of notification. Noncompliance with rules, or if prize notification or prize is returned as non-deliverable, may result in disqualification and an alternate winner may be selected. No substitutions, assignment, or transfer of prizes permitted, except by Sponsor, due to prize availability and then for a prize of equal or greater value.

General Conditions: Contest is open only to legal U.S. residents in kindergarten through sixth grade, except employees and directors (and their immediate families and those living in their same households) of Thomas Built Buses, Freightliner LLC, HMH and their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising/promotion agencies. All taxes on prizes are the sole responsibility of the winner. By entering, participants agree to be bound by these rules and the decisions of the judges which are final and binding in all respects. By accepting a prize, winners consent to the use of winners’ name, photograph, likeness and voice and winner’s entry for publicity, advertising, trade or other purposes throughout the world and at any time, without additional compensation, except where prohibited by law, and agree that all rights, title, and interest to the essay represented by the winner, will be assigned to Sponsor. Sponsor and its licensees may reproduce, distribute, publish , display, edit, modify, adapt, create derivative works and otherwise use the essay in any form, on any media and for any lawful purpose, worldwide, and without additional compensation. Sponsor is not responsible for undelivered, stolen, late, lost, illegible, incomplete, mutilated, postage-due, or misdirected entries. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. By entering, each entrant agrees that Thomas Built Buses and Freightliner LLC, its parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, and their respective officers, directors, owners, representatives, agents, and employees will have no liability whatsoever and will be held harmless by each entrant, for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by the acceptance, possession, misuse, or use of a prize or participation in this contest.

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