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Italia Verde wins art scholarship

Columbia High School senior Italia Verde ’22 was recognized for winning the 4th annual Leonard Bus Sales “A Day in the Life of a School Bus” art competition on Tuesday, March 29 at the D. Jack Hedden-Raymond H. Werking Sr. Transportation Center in East Greenbush, N.Y.

Columbia High School senior Italia Verdi ’22 was awarded the 4th annual Leonard Bus Sales “A Day in the Life of a School Bus” art competition on March 29. As the winner of the competition, Ms. Verde will receive a $1,000 one-time higher-education scholarship from Leonard Bus Sales for her original artwork depicting a day in the life of a school bus.

“The Leonard Bus Sales family looks forward to the A Day in the Life of a School Bus art competition every year as it provides us a view of school transportation through the most important and critical lens – the students who ride a yellow bus to and from school each day,” said Leonard Bus Sales Vice President Stacey Bruce. “We are deeply honored to play a role in helping students like Italia pursue their dreams upon graduation.”

School Bus Art Competition Artwork by Italia Verdi

Winning artwork created by Columbia High School senior Italia Verdi ’22.

Leonard Bus Sales launched its annual art competition to inspire and recognize young artists in high schools across New York State. “A Day in the Life of a School Bus” art competition requires participating juniors and seniors from across New York State to artistically depict a day in the life of a school bus and select either an IC BusTM or Trans Tech Bus brand school bus as the subject – the two brands that are sold and supported by Leonard Bus Sales.

“A Day in the Life of a School Bus art competition reminds us that education is a journey with many sights and stops along the way to each student’s personal destination,” said Jon Leonard, President of Leonard Bus Sales. “There are many people who help guide each student in their individual journey including family, friends, educators, coaches, and the often-unseen professionals like school bus drivers. Leonard Bus Sales is honored by the trust our school district partners place in our company, and we are proud to support school children between the many stops along their educational journey.”

In addition to a $1,000 one-time scholarship paid directly to Hudson Valley Community College, Ms. Verde’s original drawing will be framed and put on display at the East Greenbush Transportation Office. Prints of the artwork will also be shared with school districts and school bus enthusiasts across the state.

“Italia’s love for learning will continue thanks in part to the ‘A Day in the Life of a School Bus’ art scholarship that will allow her to pursue her studies at Hudson Valley Community College with the intent to one day become a teacher herself,” said Columbia Principal Michael Harkin. “We are extremely proud of Italia and all her accomplishments.”

Leonard Bus Sales presented the scholarship to Ms. Verde at the East Greenbush CSD Transportation Center on March 29. Ms. Verde was joined by Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Simons who presented her with a certificate of recognition from the Board of Education; Mr. Harkin, Principal of Columbia High School; Andrea Neiman, Art Teacher and Department Chair; Patti LeRoy, Art Teacher; Mark Halsey, Transportation Dispatcher; and her mother Tanya Whitman.