In the middle of the day on Thursday, October 28, 2021, 6th grade students were playing at recess; elementary students were enjoying PE outside and high schoolers were passing between classes when they noticed an event happening in the parking lot. Several students in the high school paused to take selfies with a special guest in the background. Some of our 6th grade students paused their basketball game and asked if they could meet our guest when he arrived.

Patsy Parker, BFA Transportation Manager talks to the crowd about the new Electric Bus
Patsy Parker, BFA Transportation Manager talks to the crowd about the new Electric Bus

After the cameras were set up and the reporters and observers were organized, Governor Phil Scott arrived to join Patsy Parker and Charlotte Wood, along with representatives from Champlain Valley School District. The occasion was a press conference to formally announce the arrival of Vermont’s first Electric Buses. 

While electric busses may not be news to us in Fairfax, we were delighted to share our excitement with the entire state.  Yes, we have been using our electric busses since the beginning of the school year, however over the last month, students have already begun to work with the data we have been collecting from our charging stations to measure the power usage and incorporate this information into a variety of projects (might solar panels be next?). 

It was a proud moment for all of us to share with the governor in the celebration of this years long process coming to fruition. I am so grateful for our Transportation Director, Patsy Parker’s work to complete the grant application, research along with her tireless efforts to tend to the myriad details that went into spec’ing the buses and infrastructure so that their arrival and implementation was flawless.

I am also grateful and awed by Charlotte Wood’s poise and clarity of conviction as she spoke to the press on Thursday.  She truly speaks to a belief in what is possible. As Charlotte said, and I think we all agree, “I am absolutely thrilled to be one of the three districts in the state to have won this grant award to bring electric buses to Fairfax! Incorporating electric buses into our school district’s transportation system is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to combating climate change and protecting the environment”

Here is one of the several news pieces that aired after our event on Thursday: https://www.mychamplainvalley.com/news/vermont-rolls-out-electric-bus-pilot-program/

Justin Brown is the Principal at BFA Fairfax Middle School. He is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY. You can follow him on Twitter @jbrownenator

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