Two weeks ago, things were looking pretty grim for Maxine Mougeot, the transportation director for the Montana Office of Public Instruction.
Due to budget cuts and and resulting travel restrictions, Mougeot was faced with the prospect of not being able to attend the annual National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services conference, which is held this fall in Portland, Ore. With the writing on the wall, she announced to her fellow members and to NASPDTS President Charlie Hood via email on April 7 that would be forced to resign as the association’s regional director west.
How things can change in two weeks.
In a span of a couple of days, Mougeot received her annual letter inviting her to attend and participate in the STN EXPO in Reno, for which the 13 invited West region state directors are eligible for free round-trip airfare, hotel stay and full conference registration. Then, NASDPTS came up with funds to ensure that Mougeot could also be in Portland this fall, and the Montana Association for Pupil Transportation said it would pick up her airfare.
It was a great present, as Mougeot celebrates her 25th anniversary as an employee at the Montana Office of Public Instruction.
“You have no idea how my heart is soaring. It made me feel really, really good to have those two groups step up,” she said. “Have you ever known a group of people who are so awesome as bus drivers and people associated with bus drivers?”
Mougeot is already scheduled to travel with the Montana delegation to Warrensburg, Mo., next month for the National Congress on School Transportation.