Waldvogel with Jeanne Hissong's special-ed class at Sutton Elementary School in Arian, Mich.
WAUPACA, Wis. — John Waldvogel has been named April’s Trucker Buddy Driver of the Month. He was nominated by teacher Jeanne Hissong and her special education class in at Sutton Elementary School in Arian, Mich.
Hissong said sincere friendship is the most important thing Waldvogel has brought to her classroom, but getting the classroom on TV was a hit among the students too.
“Last year, John arranged a special surprise for our students he brought a camera crew from Toledo to film us for WTOL Channel 11 news,” Hissong said. “He gave us a copy of the video and I taped it for all of my students. They were thrilled to see themselves on TV.”
Waldvogel has been a Trucker Buddy for Hissong’s class for the past two years. In addition to sending postcards every week from places he has been, he brings them movies to watch, logs to keep track of their activities, awards, stickers and treats. He also visits the class with his truck every fall and spring.
“John has done an excellent job communicating with our students with special needs and explaining to them in terms they can understand what it is like to be a trucker,” Hissong noted. “They especially enjoy his visits when he brings his truck. John helps the physically challenged students get in his truck and they enjoy seeing all of the equipment it has.”
In addition to corresponding with Hissong’s class, Waldvogel also corresponds with her sister-in-law’s class at the same school, which includes students with mild cognitive impairments.
Waldvogel has touched all of the students’ hearts, as summed up by one of the students, who said, “I want to be a Trucker Buddy when I grow up.”
Each Trucker Buddy Driver of the Month receives a personalized jacket, along with a check for $300 to spend on the class and $200 in Trucker Buddy merchandise, compliments of ACS MultiMedia Advertising. They also receive an IdleAire adaptor, a Koolatron cooler, Donde Publishing’s “For the Long Haul” reference guide for drivers, an Accident Photo pack and, for owner/operators, a complete set of Airtabs for their tractor or trailer. The class will receive a CrossCountry USA game from Ingenuity Works, which will help them learn more about how trucks move freight across the continent.
Waldvogel, who drives for Motor Carrier Services in Northwood, Ohio, is one of nearly 4,000 professional drivers who share their time with elementary classes throughout the world. Drivers and teachers can find out more about the program by visiting www.truckerbuddy.org or calling 1-800-MY BUDDY.
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