Break the code of Silence

Target Audiences for All Topics

School Board members

District Administrators

School Administrators

Security Personnel


School Bus Drivers


State Administrators

Staff Development Specialist


Dr. Nancy Blackwelder

There are two kinds of Administrators.

Those who have had a crisis....

And those who will.


Thanks for the info.
I have several tapes in my bus library and by far yours are the most informative and easy to put into action.
Some of the tapes I have are from The Training Network and Costal. 
Costal has been the poorest purchase on my part. The suggestions on strategies for the student behavior were a little far fetched I thought. There is foul language through out the series made by the speaker. I called and complained and they said I was the only one to complain. ( I do find that very hard to believe)
Thank you for the good information you put out there!!!

Pam Z.
Transportation Department
PACT Charter School

Hi Ms. Blackwelder,

Just a quick note to let you know that I am a school bus driver in New York and that I watched your training video last month at our safety meeting.  I just want to tell you that I thought your presentation was very informative and I will use your suggestions if the need arises.  Than you again for your time and effort in making the film

Very Truly,

Mario C.

Bus Driver

Dear Nancy,

There was a discussion about your video. In fact, I am the one who recommended to various people that they get in touch with you about it. This district purchased it a while ago and used it in our past SED mandated Refresher. The employees enjoyed it and a number of them are using your “bag of tools” with their students now. I will forward this information to the NYAPT Board of Directors for them to examine.

John  M.

Dr. Nancy Blackwelder,

I just returned from a NAPT seminar at our NYAPT Winter Workshop and you DVD “Managing the Bus Environment” was discussed and highly recommended by those that have seen it.  I would appreciate information on how to obtain this training aide for use with my staff.

Gregg V.

Director of Transportation
Delhi, NY

Mrs. Blackwelder,

I wanted to send you a quick email to thank you for the “Managing the Bus Environment” school bus driver training curriculum.  The information covered in this series was exceptionally useful, and the approach with which you conveyed the information, as well as the set up of the series (activities/movie), were highly successful!

We altered the activities slightly, to accommodate a larger crowd, while keeping within our time constraints, and it worked out perfectly.  In addition, many of the bus drivers thanked us for the information and practical “tools” given in this meeting, as they were able to follow along, relate, and keep their attention on the movie and activities.  The feedback received from our drivers was remarkably positive and encouraging.

In short, it was one of the best and most educationally practical in-service meetings we have held for our drivers.  Thank you so very much for all your time, effort and dedication in reaching the community of educational professionals with such valuable insight and information.  This experience will no doubt prove invaluable to our division and the school bus drivers in our community, both now and in the future.
I plan to order materials from you, and hope that you will continue to develop additional curriculums in the future.


Becky G.
Non-Public School Transportation
Saint Mary’s County Government

Hi Dr. Blackwelder,

My name is Matt N.. I’m the training coordinator in Eagle River Alaska for MV Transportation. When I took over the training department here 3 years ago, we had your DVD entitled “Managing the Bus Environment”. Having been a SPED teacher in Ketchikan Alaska a few years ago, I loved the student management techniques you taught in there. All of my students know that this is my favorite training DVD we have!

Thanks for your time and all that you do for the teaching community,

Matt N.
MV Transportation
Training Coordinator
Eagle River, Alaska


Live Presentations

Subject: CASTO workshop speaker

Hi Sarah,

I just wanted to thank you and the rest of the CASTO workshop organizers for bringing the speaker who talked to us about pupil management. I have been able to put some of her very straightforward and practical ideas into action and I am already noticing a big difference in my ability to maintain order on my bus. I have used some of her communication suggestions word for word, which has allowed me to remain calm and detached while firmly communicating with some of my more challenging students. She also gave great ideas for escalating consequences, which I have also put into practice this first week of school.. I really needed (and benefited) from her presentation. I know my students will also benefit. So...THANK YOU!!! for bringing her to talk to us!!!

DD Orlandi -MUSD (and of course...formerly NHUHSD)

Dear Nancy,

Thanks so much for a fabulous presentation today for the Brown Bus Company.  I am a former educator with 2 Masters (MPE, MHE) and now drive a bus for my niece and nephews Charter School.
I really had no clue the extensive training that bus drivers go through and am real appreciative that Brown Bus brought in a presenter of you stature and caliber.  I think most people who come on as drivers probably have no clue how integral a part of the education system they really are.  You made many of them feel very important and at ease today about their choice of profession.  Having been on the education side and now on the transportation side much of what you said hit home for me and made so much sense.

I enjoyed all the information you gave today and though some of it was a review of my educational training, the training on the “psychology” of emotions was eye opening and real informative.


Gaby F.

Dr. Nancy Blackwelder,

I just wanted you to know how very much I enjoyed your class today.  I thought you did an outstanding job on keeping everyone’s attention and making very good points to help us bus drivers with our jobs. I wish there were more continuing education classes like yours and I would have liked for it to have been mandatory.

Thank you so much.

Darlene M. MSD Angola IN

Dr. Blackwelder,

I recently attended your seminar on Bus Safety given a Parsippany High School on March 3rd and just wanted to drop you a short note of thanks for a very informative and entertaining session.
You have a great speaking style and presentation manner and conveyed a lot of good ideas to the drivers and all who attended here in Parsippany.  Your time and effort were greatly appreciated.


Gail B.

Dear Mrs. Blackwelder,

Thanks so much for the safety meeting.  The information was definitely right on target and very helpful.  You did a fantastic job of presenting it.  It is very obvious you know your program well.  When you were interrupted, you were able to go right back to where you were and pick up to continue.

The manner in which you presented the program is second to none.   It is also rare that someone is able to present in such a way that you did without notes.
Again, fantastic job!!!


Annie M. H.

Dear Nancy,

After listening to your presentation I feel compelled to say thank you.  I had the opportunity to hear you speak on March 11th in Grove City, PA for the Midwestern IU4 Transportation Committee.  Your topic is such a real message that I wish ALL school bus drivers could hear it, and more importantly grasp.  Our best drivers have understood the methods that you talk of.

As a Safety & Training Supervisor I have begun to spend more than the required time in training on Student Management and Discipline.  It seems that we are in a worked that demands more intervention techniques than previous generations.  So many things you shared ring so true.  These students are learning their conflict resolution literally behind the drivers’ back!

Thanks for the “bag of tricks”!

Maggie B.

Safety & Training Supervisor
Carnegie, PA

Dear Dr. Blackwelder,

Just a note to thank you for your presentation in Elgin on Friday.  You hit the nail on the head when you stated that we bus drivers are taught how to drive, but seldom how to properly interact with the students.

Although you did not solicit appraisals of your presentation, I feel compelled to advise that you introduction was both captivating and interesting.  It qualified all of the subsequent information you offered.

I have found bus drivers to be quite a diverse group of workers. I myself am retired and driver more as a hobby than a necessity.  For the majority of us, your information broadened an awareness of the sensitivity we need to extend to our student passengers.

As a manager of 225 employees in the private sector prior to retirement, I was sent to numerous training seminars intended to enhance management skill.  In comparison, your presentation was simply outstanding with captivating, realistic, and common sense examples thought.  Your 3:1 power ratio is quite similar to Stephen Covey “deposits/withdrawals” philosophy.

Thank you again for sharing your expertise and experience with us.  Mr. Andy Martin was very wise to bring you to Elgin. I only hope you come back to finish the program.

With sincere appreciation and thanks,

Bill R.
Bus Driver
Elgin School District U-46

Hello Doc,

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you on behalf of all our members.  The presentation you did for our U-46 drivers covered points that, I am sure, have not even occurred to a certain percentage of them, while the rest do not always remember the level of success that they have experienced on the bus due to the application of these simple and sometimes obvious “tools”.

Passion is certainly one of the necessary components that would enable an individual, as yourself, to stand up in front of 300+ strangers and share a surreal, living nightmare.  As you were doing the presentation, all that I think of was, “How exactly would I react if a troubled student pointed a gun in my face?”

Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to examine my feelings.

Bob G.
Bus driver

Dear Nancy,

I think you kept our attention which is not always easy to do.  I enjoyed you, not because you’re a woman, but you get the job done well!  Actions definitely speak louder than works.  As we grow older, our world is constantly changing. That’s why there are people like you.

Thanks and take care,

Debbie G.

Hello Nancy,

I really want to THANK you for the great job!! The drivers are still talking about you every day.  I think you really know how to get the word out.

Ralph K.
Supervisor of Transportation Napa Valley Unified School District

Dear Dr. Blackwelder,

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to express to you how very wonderful your seminar was today at Merrillville.  I have been a bus driver for Lake Central School Corp. for eight years now, and normally we look at these mandatory meetings as an obligation to fulfill for the school corporation which we work for.  Bus, I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed you seminar.  In fact, I would have attended without getting paid for coming..  I am a student at Purdue, a single mom and a school bus driver.  I am studying early childhood/family therapy.  I am currently a sophomore working towards my bachelors degree.  So, all of the techniques which you talked about were familiar yet some were ones that I had not thought about before.  Tomorrow I am going to begin to make a more conscious effort to implement as many of your techniques as I can with my own route. 

The reason why I am studying what I am at Purdue is because I really like to be with kids.  I agree that you really do need to want to be with children in order to do this job well.  So, with that in mind, please accept my heartfelt gratitude for your informative seminar.  It was well worth my time, and I know many of our drivers at Lake Central felt the same way as I did.  Thank you again, you do a very good job at expressing the need for all of us to step back and observe things that we need to do better.  I certainly am going to  try. 


Sharon F.
Lake Central School Corporation
St. John, IN


Thank you for forwarding the nice letter from our driver.  After talking with other drivers, what Kay said, was the feelings of most of the people in attendance.  This is a vital area of concern to all bus drivers and one that we need to pay more attention to in our on going training and professional development.  You were exactly what we needed and you gave an excellent presentation.

I was very pleased and proud of our drivers respect and attention that they gave you. A five hour session with only two breaks is a good stretch for any type of group to sty focused.  Of course, their attention was due in large part to your effectiveness as an excellent presenter and you presented content that was relevant to their jobs.

Thank you again for working with us to make all of this happen.  This in service will be remembered for a long time, and I intend to build on the areas that you covered.

Thanks again,
Nick P.
Transportation Director

Dear Nancy,

I want to take this opportunity to again thank you for your valuable training sessions and your help in making our 2008 South Willamette OPTA Winter Workshop a success.  You provided training to over 600 school bus driers from all across the state of Oregon.  The evaluations the participants filled out reflected your enthusiasm and understanding for your subject matter and also the awareness and understanding the drivers took away form your classes.

Again, thank you for being a part of our day!

Chris E.
President, South Willamette OPTA


Blackfoot School District #55 and surrounding districts would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to have you come and present to us.  The feedback I received was outstanding.  You are remarkable!

Again, thank you.

Melissa H.
Transportation Director
Blackfoot School District #55

Dear Nancy,

I am one of the bus drivers that attended the training meeting in Phoenix yesterday.  I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed and learned from all you had to share with us.

As you mentioned, they teach us for hours about how to check the oil and steer the bus down the road, but very little on how to manage the hundreds of different personalities setting behind us on the bus.  I will definitely keep the handbook and refer to it often.

I commend you again, on the excellent training session, and hope we get the opportunity to hear you again next year! You talked about exactly the things we need to know more about!

You are Super!! Than you SO much!!!

Kay C.
Bus 36

Dear Nancy,

On behalf of STAM President, Bob T., the STAM Board of Directors, and myself, we would like to personally thank you for your presentations at the 35th Annual STAM Convention and Trade Show at the Sea crest Resort & Conference Center on Old Silver Beach in North Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Our goal each year is for our convention to be a good source for the latest information affecting company owners, school districts, transportation managers, school bus drivers and instructors.  Your presentations, Communication; The Key to Success, Discipline Tips That Work, and Bullying & Harassment were very informative.  We received many compliments from the conference attendees on the excellent information you shared with our group.  Many of the drivers were planning on using the information and tips you shared at our convention as soon as they return to work.  Than you for speaking at our 35th Annual Convention and for helping to make our convention a success!


Lyn P.
Managing Director


I absolutely loved your seminar this Friday. You are an excellent speaker and I really felt your passion for your career.  Thank you for all the wonderful ideas.  I will be sure to apply them with my students on the bus.

Jennifer P.
Bus Driver

Dear Nancy,

On behalf of all of us at Bobit Business Media and Campus Safety Conference I want to thank you for your participation as a speaker at the Campus Safety Conference in St. Petersburg, FL. You provided a wealth of important information and we are most grateful to you.

Best regards,

Adriana M.
Conference Manager
Torrance, CA

Dear Ms. Blackwelder

We want to thank you for your recent presentation to the bus drivers of Kalamazoo County. We especially appreciated your sharing your personal experiences.  They will stay with us, as well as prepare us for possible emergencies.  That alone was worth your visit.  Please keep sharing your story as people need to hear it.  We thank you for your dedication to children.


The Portage Bus Drivers Association

Dr. Blackwelder,

I was one of the many bus drivers that heard you talk at the Rockledge High School in-service on the 18th.  Two days later on my route with my junior high students a student that never caused much trouble except small things, was standing at his seat backwards while the bus was moving.  He wouldn’t sit down when I asked him to, so I pulled to a safe spot.  By the time I got to the back of the bus he sat down.  So in a nice manner I asked him to come up front and sit behind me.

I only had tow more stops and he would get off at the last stop.  The last few minutes before, I was reviewing in my mind the points you made on this. When I stopped and asked what the problem was, he blew up and used all kind of four letter words and said it was my fault.  I asked him to remain on the bus and he agreed and said he wanted to tell me something. I unloaded everyone else and closed the door.

I asked him if I could help and he said that he is on parole for pulling a knife on another student and if he gets in trouble again he will go to jail.  We talked for a few minutes and we agreed if he would sit down tomorrow and behave, I’ll forget this whole thing.

Without your words and ideas I believe this would have turned out differently.
I believe with your knowledge passed on to bus drivers in the future, you may prevent what happened to you and may be prevented to someone else

Thank you

Gary B.

Bus #1057
Brevard Schools