Mary Sansaricq, the state director of student transportation at the New York State Department of Education, passed away following complications from gall bladder surgery. She was 65.
Peter Mannella, the executive director for the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, announced Sansaricq’s death in an email to members on Monday. Sansaricq had to cancel attendance at NYAPT’s summer conference in July for the emergency surgery. Mannella said the complications subsequently rose and she remained ill for the past two months.
Mannella added that NYAPT had planned to give Sansaricq the Friends of NYAPT Award over the summer for her contributions to the state. There was no confirmation at this report on plans to bestow the award posthumously.
A message also left with the New York State Department of Education for comment on Sansaricq’s passing and if and when a successor will be named had yet to be returned at this writing. But Mannella told STN that meetings were being held Monday at the state level to discuss next steps.
The New York School Bus Contractors Association also mourned Sansaricq's death, calling her a true pioneer and champion of student safety.
“Words cannot express how truly saddened we all are by Mary’s passing. On behalf of the entire association, I offer our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and co-workers,” said New York School Bus Contractors Association President Mike Martucci in a statement. “Mary was a steadfast partner in student safety and a staunch supporter of the association’s efforts, including our Operation Safe Stop Day events and School Bus Safety Competitions. Her passion and commitment to safe student transportation served as an inspiration to all of us. Mary was also a fantastic person and a dear friend. She will be sorely missed.”
Sansaricq was promoted from within the state department’s Pupil Transportation Unit and Office of Educational Management to state director on Feb. 2, 2012. Her career in education spanned more than 25 years. At the time of her promotion, a department statement added that Sansaricq "brings a wealth of professional and personal knowledge, skills and experience to help guide the pupil transportation community of New York."