Being the father of six children is just one reason why Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District Mechanic Mike Kleman places a high value on maintaining a fleet of safe buses: he understands how precious the cargo is that comes on and off those buses on a daily basis. In his eight years with the District Kleman has come to know every part, plug, bolt, nook, and cranny in the fleet of 125 buses.
That intricate knowledge has come in handy over the past five years as Kleman has won first place in the New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) “Roadeo” competition for bus mechanics in 2006 and 2009, and most recently finished in second place in the 2010 NYAPT competition at Saratoga Springs, New York. Think of it as a high-pressure “Olympics” style competition for bus mechanics, where they have to quickly assess potential mechanical problems then fix them right away.
“I’m a father first and mechanic second, and I