Mr. Celso “Sal” Scoz (known as “Mr. Sal” to his students and teachers) drives a bus for special needs students at Camp Lejeune Community Schools. Tarawa Terrace Elementary School is one of the schools he serves and is truly an unsung hero. He is always willing to go above and beyond in his duties to help make the students in the building and classroom successful. In the many years working with Mr. Sal, school staff and leadership can attest to the impact he makes on the lives and families of the children that ride on his bus.
Mr. Scoz gives parents his direct cell phone number so they can contact him anytime, especially in the event of an emergency. Because of Sal, families are able to quickly relay information impacting their children and know that critical information would be relayed with the school staff. Additionally, to increase regular attendance, Mr. Scoz will call parents to make sure they are available or go back and pick up a child after he has delivered the others to school. Because he has a monitor on the bus, Mr. Scoz is able to go to the door and personally talk with parents when children do not come out to get on the bus. When a child has behavioral difficulties, he will take the child directly to school and then go back to finish his route. He also hand delivers important papers to families to ensure the parent sees the information from school.
Mr. Scoz stops by the classroom to meet students before their first bus ride. This reduces the fear our students feel as this makes him a more familiar face. For one student, Mr. Scoz even stayed at school after his route to allow a child to get on the bus before riding for the first time. This resulted in a successful first bus ride.
Mr. Scoz alerts staff to behavioral or emotional changes he notices while children are in his care. He alerts teachers, which is critical when dealing with children who have special needs. Mr. Scoz makes all children feel welcome and helps them transition to school with an ease that only he has, similar to a grandfather or father figure for the children who do not get to see extended family or deployed parents.
Mr. Scoz embodies the DoDEA core value, “Student Centered—Students are at the heart of all we do.” For these reasons, Mr. Scoz is most deserving of this award, as his sustained excellence, attentiveness and commitment to the DoDEA mission bring great credit upon himself, DoDEA, and the Department of Defense.