Field trip coordinator’s motto is ‘customer delight’

3/16/2009 Field trip coordinator’s motto is ‘customer delight’

Watch: Georgia Cornell, senior field trip coordinator, at work.

“Customer delight” are words that come easily to Georgia Cornell, senior field trip coordinator with the Transportation Support Services Unit. Along with field trip assistants Richard Rosser and Edna White, Cornell has scheduled more than 5,000 educational field trips countywide so far this year. The goal? To supplement students’ learning in the classroom—and with a smile.

“When you see a child get on a bus and they come back with a smile, we’ve done our job,” she says.

The job is a big one. There’s a lot of planning for a field trip—by the school and by Cornell’s office—until the trip is completed. Cornell, Rosser and White receive field trip request forms from teachers, after they get approval from their principals. The three make sure the requests are within the time span destinations that can be accommodated, schedule the trips and arrange for any special needs such as walkers or wheelchair-accessible buses. Teamwork helps make it all possible—from schedulers and dispatchers to the 1,000 bus operators. If you include travel to and from sports activities, the number of field trips scheduled rises to more than 10,000 per year. In fact, during the last school year, there were 10,405 separate field trips, for a total of 396,377 miles driven. 

“It’s the best job you can have,” Cornell says. “It does everything and anything, including driving when needed. We’re here for the schools and teachers to help educate their children with the subject they’re learning.”

Cornell says that field trips affect the lives of students in a profound way and often can open a world of possibilities for the future. “When they go on a trip and see everything that’s available,” she explains, “one little thing could make them want to go higher, give them that little boost to say ‘hey, I could do that.’”

The scheduling process is being made easier for schools and teachers through a new web-based tool called WebTrips, which will allow schools to make online requests for field trip buses. Training for all schools will continue through March. 

Field trip request system


Implementation schedule 

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