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November 01, 2005  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

20 Fascinating Personalities (Part 1)

What did Derek Graham do at the Kentucky Derby? Which movie makes Lenny Bernstein cry? And what is "The Strayhound"? Read on to learn these and many more interesting tidbits about 20 remarkable people in pupil transportation.

by SBF staff editors Steve Hirano, Thomas McMahon and Albert Neal


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Lenny Bernstein (right) will be pulling lots of strings as the incoming president of the NAPT. Last year, he pulled a bus.

Lenny Bernstein (right) will be pulling lots of strings as the incoming president of the NAPT. Last year, he pulled a bus.

Leonard Bernstein

Transportation Coordinator, Haverstraw-Stony Point Central Schools, Garnerville, N.Y.

Born: Liberty, N.Y.
Home: Grahamsville, N.Y.
Years in industry: 17
Notable previous jobs: I have held positions in the Tri-Valley Central School District and the Ellenville Central School District (both in New York).

How did you get your start in the industry?
I got my start in the industry in a small school district where I also grew up and attended school. I started in food service, and the school needed a person to head up transportation. My boss gave me the opportunity, and I fell in love with the yellow bus business.

Current job duties?
My current job duties as coordinator of transportation and emergency management involve the supervision of the transportation department, which transports 10,000 students daily. My duties also include the implementation and supervision of the emergency preparedness and emergency management for the schools.

Top achievements in life?
My wife and my two sons are what I am most proud of. Professionally, I am proud to have served as president of the New York Association for Pupil Transportation and will be honored to serve as president of the NAPT for the next two years. I am also the president of the Tri-Valley School Board of Education, where I went to school, started my professional career and where my children attend school.

Outside interests?
My interests outside of work include golf, where many people find me on summer afternoons, and watching my sons participate in sports and music programs.

Favorite book or movie?
My favorite series of books is the Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean Auel. She tells such a creative story in a way that’s fun to read. It’s also interesting to watch the series progress. I also love the movie Shawshank Redemption (I got to like Morgan Freeman’s voice).

Most interesting place you’ve been?
Washington, D.C. The monuments are so inspiring, especially the Lincoln Memorial and the view of the National Mall.

Strangest job you’ve ever had?
Funeral director. It was what I thought was going to be my career when I was first out of college.

Something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I cry during the movie Field of Dreams, especially at the end!

 


 

Bob Christian says living on Wisconsin's Horseshoe Lake has its advantages, such as fishing, boating and swimming.

Robert W. Christian

Executive Director, Wisconsin School Bus Association

Born: Neenah, Wis.
Home: Horseshoe Lake, Wis.
Years in industry: 23
Notable previous jobs: Assistant to the president of Schreier Malting Co. in Sheboygan, Wis.

How did you get your start in the industry?
Jerry Prigge of Prigge’s Buses in Sheboygan introduced me to this business.

Current job duties?
I run a three-person office for contractors and school districts and am a registered lobbyist for the state of Wisconsin. I ran a state convention for the past 23 years with an average of 600 attendees. I hold regional meetings, mechanic/ technician clinics, WSBA board meetings, special-needs seminars and driver training.

Top achievements in life?
Lion’s Club Member, board of directors for the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, 4th Degree Knights of Columbus, past member of the Governor’s Council on Highway Safety, past president of the Governor’s Council on Traffic Law Enforcement Committee, member of the Wisconsin Association of Society Executives and former alderman for the city of Sheboygan. Member of the land use committee for the town of Meeme. Member of the state committee for Operation Lifesaver Inc. Most recently, awarded the Wisconsin Association of School Boards’ School Bell Award.

Outside interests?
Activities on Horseshoe Lake, where I live, including boating, swimming and fishing. Also, wine tasting and dining.

Favorite book or movie?
Any Western, but especially the original Stagecoach with John Wayne and Gun Fight at the OK Corral. I simply enjoy the west and how hard life was in those days. My favorite book is anything written by Mark Twain, because life was so exciting back then on the Mississippi River as he described it. Also, Twain wrote with great wisdom.

Most interesting place you’ve been?
The Bayfield area of Wisconsin (the Apostle Islands in northern Wisconsin).

Strangest job you’ve ever had?
Delivered bread in the early 1960s with a delivery truck. Since the bread was fresh, dogs often chased you to get it. Often, the dogs would hop into the back of the delivery truck.

Something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I think I’m the only state director of pupil transportation who isn’t a state employee.

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