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In the Transportation Department garage of Madison City Schools, Jimmy Perdue, kneeling center, receives congratulations as “Staff Member of the Year” from his co-workers and Central Office staff. CONTRIBUTED

Jimmy Perdue earns title of “Staff Member of the Year” in Transportation

MADISON – Jimmy Perdue views his co-workers as part of his family. Those family members chose Perdue as “Staff Member of the Year” in the Transportation Department of Madison City Schools.

“Well, I’ll just say this … it takes all of us to make it work. I care about (my co-workers) and seeing them safe and happy. My interest is seeing them succeed,” Perdue said.

Perdue first realized his skill with mechanics by just working on his own car and friends’ vehicles. “I never thought I’d end up doing it for a career,” he said.

In 2005, Perdue started working on school buses with Laidlaw in Huntsville, and in 2009 he became shop foreman for their Florence location. In August 2012, he accepted a job for certified mechanic in the MCS bus garage.

“I always wanted to give back to the City of Madison since I was in my younger days. A lot of police officers, firefighters and school officials helped get me through some tough times at a young age in my life,” Perdue said.

“I knew then that I wanted to be able to give back to the City of Madison, and it would take time for me to find my calling,” Perdue said.

“The City of Madison holds a very special place in Jimmy’s heart. It’s so wonderful to see him receive this recognition,” Debbie Leeth said. Leeth is the Transportation Department’s Office Manager.

Perdue’s main reason for working for MCS is “the chance to make a difference in young people’s lives. People believed in me at a young age from the school system. They showed me that with great responsibilities would come great challenges.”

“I overcame a lot of (challenges), and I want to give back. It’s family, and it takes family to make it be what it is,” Perdue said.

Perdue first attended Madison City Schools in fifth grade. He graduated from Bob Jones High School in 2003. “Madison is my home … from my original family to the family I’ve made, I would call it home,” he said.

His lifelong dream actually was to be a police officer. “I was in a cadet program with Madison Police and Fire departments in my teenage years. However, life had a different calling for me that I didn’t see coming,” Perdue said.

Concerning marital status, “Most will tell you I am married to my job, and I have around 11,500 kids. They attend 11 different schools in Madison,” Perdue said.

“That being said, I better stay married to my job as child support could become expensive. In actuality, I’m not married, and I don’t have any children . . . other than the four-legged type,” Perdue said jokingly.

Known for his optimism, Perdue believes “teamwork makes the dream work. It takes everyone to make it be what it is. Everyone plays a role (for) a successful team. And I’m thankful for each and every person in the school system and the community. This is home for me.”

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