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Being part of a community means you pitch in to help others in your community. Giving back is something the team at Durham School Services in Lake Villa, Ill., embraces wholeheartedly. They have been participating in the Lake Bluff Polar Plunge for the last eight years, benefitting Illinois Special Olympics. They also organize a volunteer event every year to help clean up and beautify school grounds at one of the District 41 schools for which they provide student transportation services.

This consistent commitment to giving back to the community they serve recently earned the Lake Villa location, led by General Manager Kim Frost, the Team of the Year Award in the People category from National Express Corporation (NEC), a leader in student transportation. Durham School Services is part of NEC, and the Lake Villa team is one of 11 of teams and individuals among NEC’s 185 locations across United States and Canada being recognized for demonstrating company’s values in action.

“We are proud to acknowledge employees and teams for their hard work and dedication to living our company’s values in the areas of Safety, Customers, People and Community,” said David A. Duke, CEO of National Express Corporation. “Our Values reflect our priorities and we gladly celebrate those who exemplify them.”

Frost and her team have volunteered shuttling ‘plungers’ for the Lake Bluff Polar Plunge for the last eight years. “Every year we donate eight buses, fuel and drivers to shuttle plungers from the registration tent to the plunge site about 2 miles away,” said Frost. They also assembled their own team of plungers for the last four years.  This past year, their team was nicknamed ‘Cody’s Team’ in honor of one employee’s special needs child who passed away in November. “When you hear the athletes speak at the event, you realize how important this event is to them and how vital the fundraising is for the Special Olympics organization.”

The Lake Villa team also feels close to the schools for which they provide busing. Every year they organize a volunteer day to help with upkeep of school grounds. “We spread mulch, plant shrubbery, pull weeds, whatever it takes. We happily provide the materials, tools and manpower. It’s all part of giving back to the community that we too are a part of.”

Frost is proud of her team. “They are absolutely phenomenal,” she said.  We all work together here truly operate as one unit.”

Frost will accept the award on behalf of her team at a special event at parent National Express Group’s headquarters in London.

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About our company

Durham School Services, Stock Transportation and Petermann Bus make up National Express Corporation (NEC), headquartered in Warrenville, Ill. As a leader in student transportation, NEC is committed to exceptional safety, outstanding customer service and positive employee relations. Durham and Petermann (United States) and Stock (Canada) operate more than 20,000 buses and serve 450 school districts in 32 states and four provinces. Our success rests with our dedicated employees who live our mission: “Getting kids to school safely, on time and ready to learn.” For more information, visit