At the risk of sounding like the master of understatement, the U.S. is going through a transformational period in our history socially, economically and politically.
It seems every day there is some new development on the national radar screen that gets the chattering classes chattering about the ramifications. It’s hard to keep up with it all.
The school bus industry is caught up in all three of the transformational elements, trying to understand and deal with them responsibly.
Which is why the NAPT Conference & Trade Show this year especially is so important. It’s the premier place for state and community school bus professionals to see the big picture, to learn about and explore the challenges and changes in our industry. You’ll have plenty of opportunities for professional development and networking. And you might even have some fun, too!
This year, NAPT is stepping up to the plate in Louisville, Ky., with an all-star lineup of keynote speakers.
Headlining the conference will be the Honorable Dirk Kempthorne, a highly respected and experienced national political leader who will give attendees a rare glimpse into how local and national policies — and budgets — affecting our industry are decided.
Kempthorne served as the 49th U.S. secretary of the interior under President George W. Bush. Before accepting this appointment to the president’s Cabinet, Kempthorne was in his second term as governor of Idaho. Prior to that, he served as one of Idaho’s senators. While in the U.S. Senate from 1993 to 1999, Kempthorne wrote, negotiated and won passage for a bill to end unfunded mandates on state and local governments.
A leader known for his sensible, bipartisan approach to governing, then- Gov. Kempthorne was elected by his peers to be president of the National Governors Association and the Western Governors Association. He also served on the Council of State Governments. The secretary of education appointed him to the National Assessment Governing Board, and the secretary of homeland security appointed him to the Homeland Security Task Force.
As a private citizen for the first time in years, Kempthorne will bring you his unique perspective on a wide variety of issues in our industry. And, yes, he knows the issues. In fact, while governor of Idaho, Kempthorne kept a wooden model of a school bus prominently on display in his office! He is sure to be one of the most interesting and enlightening speakers we have ever brought to the industry stage.
Jeff Evans is a world-class mountain guide and author of Mountain Visions: Lessons Beyond the Summit. From the summit of Mount Everest back to the boardroom, Evans captivates audiences worldwide with lessons he’s learned on the way to and from each summit. Based on his own real-world experiences, Evans will explain the hidden metaphors from the world of adventure — leadership, commitment, teamwork and vision — and bring them to life for you in a unique and unforgettable way.
John D. Musso, executive director of the Association of School Business Officials International, will be with us, too. Until being named in 2006 to his current position, Musso was chief financial officer for the District of Columbia Public Schools, where he was responsible for all financial and budgetary functions (with an annual budget of $2 billion in operating and capital funds!). He has more than 30 years of experience in education, having previously served as an elementary school teacher, principal and deputy superintendent. Musso will share with you his perspective on issues — especially school finance issues — you should keep prominently in mind as leaders of local education agencies in the midst of the national economic recession.
Peggy Burns is owner of Education Compliance Group Inc., an organization committed to addressing legal compliance issues in education. As staff counsel and director of policy and legal services for Adams 12 Five Star Schools in Thornton, Colo., she advised and trained administrators throughout the public school system on legal matters. Now a full-time consultant, she focuses on school transportation law and policy.
Burns will participate in several sessions at the conference and will captain our Leading Every Day Initiative, all the while sharing with you her insight, her passion and her vision for the future of leadership in our industry.
Finally, after all the serious talk, we have many special events to help you unwind. One favorite is the NAPT Awards Banquet, featuring emcee Mack Dryden. He has performed on dozens of TV shows, including The Tonight Show with both Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. Creating hilarious custom humor comes naturally to the former staff writer for “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher,” and when combined with his improvisational skills, the result is an awards banquet that is unparalleled in our industry.
At the crest of every NAPT Summit is the amazing NAPT Trade Show, “The School Transportation Industry’s Showcase Event.” It’s bigger than two professional football fields — over 100,000 square feet! — and features a vast array of products and services. It is the biggest and best trade show in the industry, and it’s worth the trip in itself.
All in all, the 2009 NAPT Summit — from Oct. 31 to Nov. 5 in Louisville, Ky. — is not to be missed. For complete information, go to www.napt.org.