2020 SEPAC AWARDS
Needham Public Schools
Googling “transportation director requirements” results in pages upon pages that include the descriptors: “strategize, manage, coordinate, optimize, supervise, delegate, train, execute, monitor.” Shane Marchand exemplifies all these skills. In addition, when asking Needham parents to describe the qualities Shane brings to his job, we hear: “caring, compassionate, responsive, diligent, dedicated, kind, empathetic.”
One parent says: “We acknowledge Shane for both the everyday commitment he brings to his job and also for the times when he really goes above and beyond. Shane has the type of job that people typically don't think about or acknowledge until there is a problem. It’s also so much more complex than most people realize. Shane really seems to strive for excellence.” Another parent shares: “When our daughter was experiencing anxiety around getting on buses and vans a few years ago, Shane worked with her SPED team to target the issue, including sending a bus to her school ahead of pick up time so her team could try to address the skill.”
One of the biggest challenges Shane faces in his already highly demanding job is his ongoing partnership with the Out of District families and directors. He has a great relationship with transportation contractors such as Van Pool. He and his team are persistent in following up with them to make sure complicated plans are executed as expected. Another parent remarks “Shane is friendly and eager to help. Together, he and Diana make a very approachable, dedicated and competent Transportation team.”
Shane’s commitment to caring for the whole child is also evident in his partnership with Needham Athletics. He is dedicated to making special arrangements in order for students to access the Unified Sports program. One parent shares: “Shane has been super helpful in coordinating logistics with Van Pool to get our daughter back to Needham to participate in Unified Sports. This has been no easy task as the time and location of practices are often a moving target depending on the weather, etc. We could not be more appreciative of Shane’s effort and dedication.”
Shane is dedicated to his job. One parent remarks: “The first word that comes to mind when I think of Shane is responsive! Half the time, I swear he responds before my email leaves my outbox. He's proactive in checking in if I fail to provide an update and doesn't just assume no news is good news.” A fellow mother shares these thoughts: “I have always been impressed by Shane’s openness and eagerness to communicate with families. I first met him through SEPAC meetings, when he would come each fall to hear feedback from parents. The beginning of the year is invariably filled with snags, and he is always incredibly candid in acknowledging when mistakes have been made and what steps he is taking moving forward. I also experienced this with my own child when we were having problems in his van. I appreciated Shane’s willingness to sit down with me and get an earful about why I was unhappy. Instead of defensiveness, I was met with validation and understanding, and he immediately resolved the issue.”
On behalf of all those who have had children safely transported from home to school, to activities and sports, and to home again, we give our deepest gratitude to Mr. Shane Marchand and his team.