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ֱ S.M.A.R.T employee racks up awards, showcases ‘transit talents’

Charlie Koger with first place trophy
Taquantis "Charlie" Koger with his first place trophy after being namedMississippi Public Transportation Association’s “Roadeo” state champion. Pictured (left to right) MPTA Secretary LaShonda McKinney, MPTA President Evelyn Bumpers, Koger and MPTA Treasurer Annie Conner. (Submitted photo)

Contact: Mary Pollitz

STARKVILLE, Miss.—This spring wasn’t the first time Taquantis “Charlie” Koger’s transit talents brought home the hardware.

Koger, who has been a Mississippi State S.M.A.R.T bus driver since 2018, this year was named Mississippi Public Transportation Association’s “Roadeo” state champion, out of more than 100 public transit workers who participated. This honor is presented to drivers that exhibit a commitment to safety and efficient public transportation. Along with this most recent award, he was the state champion in 2019, “Driver of the Year” in 2021 and “Roadeo” runner-up in 2022.

“It feels great being continually recognized for my driving skills,” Koger said. “I've been driving professionallyfor more 10years. My everyday goal is to do my best at whatever I do, and to know that my best is good enough to be awarded is awesome.”

After the Crawford native won the state “Roadeo,” he participated in the national competition in West Palm Beach, Florida. Earning a top 10 finish out of 60 competitors, Koger was happy to represent ֱ on the national level.

“I wholeheartedly love ֱ and what it stands for,” Koger said. “Service is highlighted in our mission statement, and the ֱ transportation department provides that service daily. I find joy knowing that I am a part of putting the ֱ mission into action.”

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Wednesday, July 3, 2024 - 12:15 pm