Mid-Prairie Transportation Director Teresa Hartley was expecting a normal meeting on Tuesday with Superintendent Mark Schneider, but what awaited her was something she hadn’t expected. As Schneider walked Hartley into the school’s gymnasium, her son Mason was waiting to congratulate her on winning the Holly Hougland Klein Iowa Women in Transportation Award. Hartley shared her thoughts on receiving the award, “So last year at our IPTA meeting that we always have in Des Moines, we talked a lot about this award. They made a big presentation on it, just to kind of inform people on how big of an award this is. When I was listening to it last year I was like, ‘You know, that’s an amazing award.’ But I never once did I think that I would be nominated or even be in the position that I am, but no, that never went through my mind.” This award was created to immortalize the legacy of Klein who lost her life in 2015 in an accident. Klein dedicated her career to encouraging women to further their careers not only in the transportation industry but in management positions as well.
Hartley says she was excited and honored, “To me, I just feel like I’m doing my job. It’s just one of those day to day things. I’m all about the kids so I’m going to do whatever it takes. That’s just how I’ve always been, that’s who I will always be.” Hartley’s attention now lies in preparing for the upcoming school year and figuring out how transportation at Mid-Prairie will work. She says she’s ecstatic to see all of the kids again, even though they have to stay six feet apart.