With great sadness, the California Association of School Transportation Officials sadly announces the passing of Life Member Al Sauvadon on Friday, October 20, 2023, in Discovery Bay, California. Al was an integral part of the California school bus industry.
Al’s achievements in his career and personal life have made him the person we adored and loved. Even though he struggled at a young age to learn English and to become a true American, he became a prominent speaker in the pupil transportation industry where he has made his career. After 31 years, Al retired as Director of Operations and Transportation for the Lucia Mar School District on the Central Coast in California. He went on to become the West Coast Administrative Vice President for Student Transportation of America (STA) and was currently Public Relations Administrator for STA until his death. Al also spent many years with the California Highway Patrol as a volunteer community officer in San Luis Obispo County. Al proudly served in the United States Air Force as a young man which taught him of being the man we knew today.
CASTO members and school bus drivers who have encountered Al will always remember his kind and humorous personality who really cared about the school bus driver and the children who rode the yellow school bus.
Al was the State President of CASTO for three terms: 1981-1983 and 1986-1987. He also sat on the State Board of Directors for many more years.
During the 1991 Annual State Conference in San Luis Obispo, Al was honored to receive the highest recognition in CASTO: the LIFE MEMBER AWARD. He always wore his Life Member pin proudly on his lapel (over his heart) at every CASTO event, including the most recent state conference in Burbank, California in February 2023.
Al received the Fred Sowash Award (the founding father of the CDE Instructor Program) in 2011. On a side note, Al was very proud to say he graduated from Class #2 of the California Bus Driver Instructor Program. Al continued to attend the California State Instructor Program graduations as a cheerleader for the new generation. Al was honored to be invited back to CDE year-after-year to teach as a visiting educator at the Transportation Administrators Program.
School Bus Drivers would recognize Al as the Keynote speaker at many chapter workshops or hearing his voice as the emcee at the Annual School Bus Safety Roadeos for over 25 years.
Al loved the American sport car “the Chevrolet Corvette”. He has owned five and enjoyed all of them. His passion for this American icon began in the 1950’s upon his arrival to the United States from France and has lasted to this day. One of his favorite pastimes is to drive his “Corvette” along California Highway 1 (Coast Highway), with the top down, and with his wife Paula sitting beside him singing Elvis Presley tunes. This was a big part of his American Dream. He adored and loved Paula with all his heart.
Al was a religious man (a Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus) and attended mass regularly. He is also an enthusiastic community participant, belonging to numerous local and civic organizations. He was very patriotic and extremely conservative regarding the military, law enforcement, and national security, Al is a loyal American citizen and believes that the United States is the greatest country in the world.
Al is survived by his wife Paula and son Gary, daughters Terri, Michelle, and Anna (son George and daughter Susie passed away at an early age in their lives). He also is survived by four-grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
CASTO and the school bus community are honored to have Al be part of our lives and honored to have him make the yellow school bus the “American Tradition”. Al made the betterment of many people’s career. We will miss you Al !
Al will be laid to rest at the Dixon United States National Cemetery with full military honors in Northern California.
Condolences can be sent to:
Paula Sauvadon (wife)
Anna Borges (daughter)
CA Department of Education
Office of School Transportation
825 Riverside Parkway, Suite 110
West Sacramento, CA 95605
The staff at CDE will make sure all notes, cards and voice messages are promptly forwarded to the family. Voicecondolences are also welcome.
December 7, 1945 to December 28, 2022