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August 31, 2010  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

NSTA Convention Features Notable News, Events

The association reveals that the Transportation Security Administration has completed its pupil transportation security assessment. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new initiative to improve large bus and truck safety is discussed. Attendees also celebrate two industry veterans who are retiring.

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Convention sessions and industry advocacy efforts

Mike Simmons, senior transportation manager for the Arkansas Department of education, spoke on behalf of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services about the association’s excitement over mutual ventures with the ASBC.

Many sessions were offered during the convention. Among this year’s speakers was Congressman John Shimkus (R-Ill.), who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the subcommittees on Communications, Technology and the Internet; Energy and Environment; and Health.


Abe says Shimkus took questions from the attendees and spoke about his area of interest as a member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.

Ken Hedgecock, vice president of sales, marketing and service for Thomas Built Buses, headed a presentation on the ASBC’s Yellow School Bus Champions program.

The program is designed to help industry professionals drum up support for the use of school buses. It includes a slideshow presentation that pupil transporters can give to a school board, parents, etc. The presentation covers the safety and environmental benefits of school bus transportation, as well as its integral role in contributing to students’ education.

“The presentation that Ken gave was to inform attendees how they can present the program for folks in their own communities to make sure that school buses aren’t cut out of their budgets,” Abe explains. “The idea of the yellow school bus champion is to get everyone on board with giving that presentation, or at least getting people ready to give it if necessary.”

The ASBC will officially launch the program at the National Association for Pupil Transportation Summit this October and November in Portland, Ore.

The latest at the NSTA
With the NSTA’s 2010-13 strategic plan approved, the association’s committees met during the convention to focus on their scoping work to support the plan.

Additionally, the following board members were introduced: John Gillie of First Student, Cincinnati; Gail Wilson Hyser of Wilson’s Bus in Pasadena, Md.; Rochelle Bast of Riteway Bus in Richfield, Wis.; and John Benish Jr. of Cook-Illinois Corp. in Oak Forest, Ill.

Gary Waits of Durham School Services was appointed to the board for a one-year term to fill a vacancy.

Award winners

Industry consultant Robin Leeds (center) was among the honorees during the convention’s awards ceremony. She received the Meritorious Service Award.

Contractors from across the U.S. and Canada were recognized in one of the convention’s biggest events, the awards ceremony. This year’s honorees were:
Golden Merit Award
• Kirk Flach, Durham School Services, Warrenville, Ill.
• Robert Hatchett, Durham School Services, Keller, Texas
Hall of Fame Award
• Barry Stock, National Express Corp., Aurora, Ontario
• Stan Weber, First Student Canada, Calgary, Alberta
Distinguished Service Award
• Kellie Dean, Dean Transportation Inc., Lansing, Mich.
Outstanding Driver Service Award
• Dwight Miller, Riteway Bus Service Inc., Richfield, Wis.
Meritorious Service Award
• Robin Leeds, industry consultant, Noank, Conn.
Go Yellow, Go Green Award
• Kickert School Bus Line Inc., Lynwood, Ill.

Barry Stock (center) of National Express Corp. was recognized for his contributions to the NSTA with the Hall of Fame Award.

Also, Blake Krapf, CEO of Pennsylvania-based Krapf Bus Companies, was named SCHOOL BUS FLEET’s Contractor of the Year. (For more on Krapf, click here.)

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