At the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s (NAPT) conference in Austin last month, Lenny Bernstein began his two-year tenure as the group’s president, taking the reins from Steve Kalmes.
Bernstein, who also serves as transportation coordinator for Haverstraw-Stony Point Central School District in Garnerville, N.Y., discussed with SCHOOL BUS FLEET his early goals for the tenure and his thoughts on the conference. For more from Bernstein, see his president’s message in this issue.
SBF: Now that you’ve taken over as president of NAPT, what’s the first item on your to-do list?
BERNSTEIN: It was to arrange my calendar for the coming year. It seems that once you become president, all of a sudden you need to be in a lot of different places at different times. I just want to make sure that I can get to everywhere I need to be.
How difficult will it be for you to juggle your job responsibilities with your NAPT responsibilities?
I’m very fortunate that I have a great staff in my district. I also have unbelievable support from the district administration. They realize how important it is for me to be involved. At the same time, I have a great executive director at NAPT and the involvement of the board of directors. We’re all on the same page. It’s the classic team-effort approach.
What do you see as the association’s greatest strength?
Our greatest strength is the number of members that we have and, along with that, their sincere dedication to our industry.
Where do you think NAPT could improve most?
I really think we can and will improve in our communication to our membership. It’s at a good point, but we want to make it a whole lot better. We’re going to be offering a lot of different things to improve it.
What was the highlight of the event in Austin?
Standing in front of our membership to accept the presidency and having my family and friends there along with me. At the same time, it was great for me to honor [outgoing president] Steve Kalmes in my first official act. He’s been very, very helpful in making this a smooth transition.