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Mid-Prairie transportation director honored with award by association

Mid-Prairie Community School District Transportation Director Teresa Hartley was awarded the Holly Hougland Klein “Iowa Women in Transportation” award in a special ceremony at the high school on Tuesday. (Gretchen Teske/The Union)
Mid-Prairie Community School District Transportation Director Teresa Hartley was awarded the Holly Hougland Klein “Iowa Women in Transportation” award in a special ceremony at the high school on Tuesday. (Gretchen Teske/The Union)
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WELLMAN — Teresa Hartley went to work at Mid-Prairie High School Tuesday morning expecting to discuss the school’s lunch program. She did, and then was surprised as family, staff and members of the Iowa Pupil Transportation Association presented her with the Holly Hougland Klein “Iowa Women in Transportation” award.

Chris Darling, executive director of the transporation association, said Hartley is the fifth woman to receive the award. Klein, who the award was named for, was dedicated to encouraging women to further their careers not only in the transportation field but in management positions, he said.

The memorial award was created after her death in 2015.

Hartley has worked for the district for many years but has worked as the transportation director the last three and as a bus driver for the past two.

“I would never have thought I would have been nominated for this,” she said.

The award came as a complete surprise, but one she was appreciative to receive. Hartley said being recognized for her success was a great feeling.

“It feels awesome. You never want to feel what you do is unseen, but I love that they saw the importance of what I do and what we do for the district,” she said, crediting her team of

bus drivers for her success.

During the award ceremony, Darling credited Harley with starting a number of programs in the district, both transportation related and not. The initiative and creativeness Hartley displayed are what earned her the award, he said.

Multiple letters were sent to the Iowa Pupil Transportation Association board, nominating Hartley for the award. Superintendent Mark Schneider drafted one in support and credited the transportation director as being the most fitting for it.

“Without a single doubt, she’s the most deserving person I know for this recognition,” he wrote.