School bus driver Andrew Kostopoulos has been awarded a $1.5 million award by the National Geographic Society to be presented to a student who saved his or her life in the classroom.
Andrew Kostopolous is an instructor at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Education, and his father is an electrical engineer.
“We’ve spent years training Andrew to make sure he is ready for the challenges of teaching,” said Kathy Kostopoulou, executive director of the National Association of School Bus Operators.
“The Kostolbys have been there for him and they have made sure that he is prepared for the rigors of teaching.
He is an incredible teacher and we are very thankful for his incredible contributions to our profession.”
Kostopolos was riding a school bus to a school for a trip on April 3, 2012.
The driver had just finished his shift as a teacher when he noticed the window of the bus was broken.
He jumped from the bus, pulled the window open and was able to save the life of a child who was strapped in a seat and crying.
After the accident, Kostolyos was suspended for one week, but the suspension was later reduced to 30 days because he cooperated with authorities.
He has since been promoted to the position of instructor, and he’s currently on the faculty at the school in Austin.
When asked how he feels about the award, Kosopoulos said, “I am honored.
It is a testament to the work of my family, the National Zoo, the school and the school community.
This award recognizes the incredible effort Andrew has put in to save his students life.”
The National Geographic Foundation announced the award last week.
For more about the National Zoological Park, go to www.nationalgeographic.com.