Transportation specialist posthumously honored
Although Joseph Williams Jr.—the transportation specialist for the Farmingdale School District—passed away in February 2019, the legacy he left behind can still be felt today. In recognition of his incomparable role as a member of the Farmingdale School District, Williams has been posthumously inducted into the New York Association for Pupil Transportation’s (NYAPT) Hall of Fame. Each year, NYAPT selects one individual who upholds its mission of supporting, developing and representing professionals who are responsible for the safe and efficient transportation of school children for this honor. Williams’ exemplary track record embodies all that an honoree must possess. In May 2000, he began his tenure at the district and stepped into his role of providing safe transportation for thousands of students to and from school every day. It was a role he met with a sense of great responsibility and determination.
“Joe Williams was so much more than the district’s transportation supervisor,” Superintendent Paul Defendini said. “He was a highly skilled professional in the field of student transportation, he was a mentor to many of us who worked in central administration, he was a kindhearted friend to all that knew him and he was a committed and tireless member of our family. Although his legacy is intact, we miss him and the genuine kindness that he showed for everyone that was lucky enough to pass him in the halls.”
Throughout his time as Farmingdale School District’s transportation specialist, Williams was in the driver’s seat. Overseeing the routing of the district’s buses, implementing bus safety drills and being responsible for preventative maintenance inspections on all district vehicles, he truly did it all. Additionally, he was responsible for spearheading the development of the district’s satellite-mapping program, which prepares bus routes for every student in the district.
As an active member of the Farmingdale community, Williams engaged in a number of committees and took part in workshops and conferences in order to stay literate on all emerging school bus laws. As a strong proponent for legislation regarding bus safety, Williams attended several State Education Department advisory committee meetings and participated in NYAPT’s Lobby Day, the association honoring him with this honor.
“Seeing Joe inducted into the NYAPT Hall of Fame is something that I will never forget,” Farmingdale Supervisor of Transporation Marc Medina said. “He meant so much to me personally, professionally and to this district as a whole. I’ll always take a piece of what Joe taught me in the transportation industry throughout my whole career.”
NYAPT is dedicated to the support, development and representation of the professionals who are responsible for the safe and efficient transportation of school children. NYAPT is a membership-based professional association incorporated in 1974. Members come from many levels within the school bus industry, including supervisors and managers, mechanics and technicians, trainers and safety specialists, dispatchers and drivers.
—Submitted by the Farmingdale School District