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NEWS RELEASES 2008-09 :: AUGUST 15, 2008


Courtney Klemm, a 2008 graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, has received a $1,000 scholarship from the Southeastern States Pupil Transportation Conference. Klemm attended Charles D. Owen High School (Buncombe County Schools) before being accepted to the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.

Klemm was one of two North Carolina students to receive the scholarship. She was eligible for the scholarship because her father, Michael Miller, is an assistant principal in charge of buses at William W. Estes Elementary and has driven a school bus for 11 years, both as a full-time and a substitute driver.

During high school, Klemm participated on the soccer, tennis and cross country teams, served as student government vice president, was involved in a variety of clubs (Ultimate Frisbee, Young Life Christian, Body Builders, Spanish, Math Tutoring, Organ Donor and Art) and assisted with the Relay for Life committee. Several of her high school teachers wrote glowing letters of recommendation. One said, "She finds a healthy balance between being concerned about her academic life and taking care of social, physical and spiritual needs." Another teacher said, "Rarely does one meet a young person that does not complain, but rather appreciates all the things that she has in life."

In her application essay, Klemm expressed the importance of obtaining a college education after witnessing her mother struggle to raise two children and working minimum wage jobs without the benefit of having a college education. After Klemm turned 14, her mother was able to attend college. Klemm will attend the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and plans to become an optometrist.

The Buster Bynum Scholarship is a one-time, $1,000 education scholarship awarded to two deserving public school students in each of the 14-member Southeastern states of the Southeastern States Pupil Transportation Conference (SESPTC). The scholarship is named for the current treasurer, past president, and longtime member of the SESPTC Board of Directors, who has been a strong advocate for improving student transportation safety for more than 40 years.

Created in 2005, the Buster Bynum Scholarship is awarded to children of school bus transportation employees actively employed in public school transportation for the past five years. Eligible students must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA and are selected based on their leadership, citizenship, and service.

Derek Graham, section chief for Transportation Services with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, is a past president of the SESPTC. Graham expressed his pleasure at the use of funds for this purpose. "Pupil transportation employees too often go unrecognized for their very important service to the educational system. For the Southeastern States Conference to help these important professionals to manage the expense of a college education for their children is a great way to acknowledge that service," said Graham.

Randy Henson, Transportation Consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and recent delegate to the SESPTC was very impressed that "Courtney could maintain a 4.3 grade academic point average and still have time for the many activities inside and outside of the school environment." Henson presented Klemm with a plaque and a $1,000 check at the Buncombe County School Bus Transportation office.

For more information, please contact the NCDPI's Communications division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.