From left: Steve Keute, Brad Thoelke, Caryn Erickson, Rich Hudson and Lowell Hawton were five of the six recipients of the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association’s Transportation Specialist Award.
ANNANDALE, Minn. — Pupil transporters in the state were recognized for their contributions to the industry during the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association’s (MSBOA) recent summer conference.
Six school bus drivers were selected to receive the 2012 Transportation Specialist Award. The drivers were nominated by their supervisors as people who exemplify the best of the best in school transportation.
Applications were judged on criteria such as years of service, dedication to safety, community service achievements, communication with school staff, and letters of recommendation from parents, co-workers, students and school staff.
The recipients of the Transportation Specialist Award were:
• Steve Keute of M & M Bus Service, Annandale, Minn.
• Brad Thoelke of Sunburst Transit, St. Paul, Minn.
• Caryn Erickson of St. Louis Park Transportation, St. Louis Park, Minn.
• Rich Hudson of Faribault Transportation Co. Inc., Faribault, Minn.
• Lowell Hawton of Vision of Elk River, Elk River, Minn.
• Steve Warme of Southwest Coaches, Marshall, Minn. (posthumous)
In addition to the award, a $1,000 check was given in each driver’s name to go toward a scholarship fund for deserving youth in the school district they serve.
MSBOA also presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to Betty Jeanne Trobec, owner of Trobec’s Bus Service Inc.
Betty Jeanne Trobec, owner of Trobec’s Bus Service Inc., received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Following college, Trobec began a 21-year career working for the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce, but at night and on weekends, she helped her parents, Tony and Frances Trobec, with their bus company. As their business grew, Trobec spent more and more time helping her mother with the bookkeeping and routing before she finally began working full time for the company in 1982.
Officials said Trobec has tried to run her business like her father, whose motto was to “be honest and simply enjoy what you do.” Trobec attends MSBOA conferences every year, and she attributes her success to her employees, who she considers to be extended family.
Lastly, MSBOA gave the Jim DeVeau Award to Bruce Dischinger, who began his career in the school bus industry as a part-time driver while attending Bethel College in 1967.
Bruce Dischinger, an owner of Monarch Bus Service, received the Jim DeVeau Award. He is pictured with Donna Dischinger.
Dischinger has worked for Minneapolis Public Schools, Ryder Transportation and First Student, and he spent years on the MSBOA board of directors as the First Student representative. After leaving First Student, Dischinger became an owner of Monarch Bus Service in Roseville, Minn. He has also presented safety programs at conferences and is currently serving on the Friends of the MSBOA PAC Committee.
The MSBOA was created in 1948 to focus efforts on school bus safety for its passengers in the state of Minnesota. More information on the organization is available at www.msboa.com.