William “Mike” Mattingly, an owner operator for Mercer is
awarded Trucker Buddy of the Month for July 2012. Ms. Carla
Eutsler, of Friendship Village School of Friendship, Maine
nominated him. The two have been paired since the beginning
of the year and work together with Ms. Eutsler’s fourth, fifth and
sixth grade social studies and science classes.
As soon as the students were told that Mike was their Trucker
Buddy they began sending him letter and cards. Just a few
weeks after he first received them, he came to see them at
their school. He even got to co-teach with Ms. Eutsler for 2 days.
Some of the sixth grade students located on map of the US where all Mike and his Chihuahua, Rufus has travelled. Just in one month he traveled from Texas to California to Georgia to Maine to Louisiana to NYC and back to California. On his visit to the school all the students there, about 100, were able to “tour” Mike’s truck. “The students enjoyed his visit and missed him when he left,” says Ms. Eutsler.
He has sent them pictures of his home state of Texas and taught
them some interesting things about Texas. Also because of his
travels across the country the students are learning about time
zones and safe driving. He has even sent them a picture of a
sign from Friendship, Arkansas.
“My family has made a new friend, too,” says Ms. Eutsler. Her
family also got to be a part of Mike’s visit. Her 13 year-old sons
were able to tour his truck and learn about trucking. “Mike got to
try lobster for the first time when he came to Main,” remarked
Ms. Eutsler. The two families exchanged items such as Mercer
shirts and notebook and coffee mugs to remind Mike and his wife
“We appreciate the positive interactions the Trucker Buddy program
encourages,” says Ms. Eutlser. “This is a wonderful program and it
enhances student learning.”