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September 01, 2006  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

A Look Back at SBF Award Winners

The pupil transportation industry has been graced by individuals who have contributed to its betterment at the local, state and national levels. The following people were recognized by SCHOOL BUS FLEET for their efforts.

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Terry Thomas (1993)
Thomas, president of Community Bus Service in Youngstown, Ohio, has been a terrific resource for the industry. He was a longtime board member of the NSTA and received the Distinguished Service Award in 1993 and 2001. He also has been instrumental in bringing the industry’s three major associations closer together with more collaborative initiatives.

Dale Krapf (1994)
By the time he won the Contractor of the Year award in 1994, Krapf had been running his family’s bus company for 27 years. The company, named George Krapf Jr. & Sons, after his father, had a dual focus of school transportation and a charter bus operation servicing the entire Philadelphia area. Krapf’s leadership and energy wasn’t limited to just his own company — he also served as NSTA president and received the Distinguished Service Award in 1994.

Kellie Dean (1995)
Dean, president of Dean Transportation, was known for his dedication to special-needs transportation. He established a medical review team at the company, including school nurses and physicians, to provide important information to drivers transporting students with special needs. He also served as co-chair of the Special Transportation Operations Committee for the 12th National Congress on School Transportation.

Lee Larson (1996)
When Larson took over School Bus Services (SBS) in Gresham, Ore., the company had approximately 40 school buses and no facilities to house the operation. After 28 years, SBS operated more than 600 buses in four states. Service, community involvement and industry participation have always been Larson’s hallmarks. In 1999, he established the Leland E.G. Larson Quality Student Transportation Award with a $50,000 donation to the NAPT.

Barry Stock (1997)
Stock was recognized for his leadership, innovation and determination to raise industry standards. At the time, he was senior vice president of Stock Transportation Ltd., which was sold to National Express Corp. in 2002. He is now senior vice president for National Express, overseeing business development for both Durham School Services and Stock Transportation. He is also an NSTA board member and is slated to become president in 2007.

Kevin Endres (1998)
Endres was president of Mountain Transit in Milton, Vt., when he received the award. He later sold the company to Atlantic Express and entered the world of politics, winning a seat in Vermont’s state senate. Endres helped to organize the Vermont School Transportation Association and served as its first president. Since selling his company, he has been championing school bus safety issues in the Vermont legislature.

Douglas Flatt (1999)
As vice president of administration of Mid Columbia Bus Co. (MIDCO), Flatt always emphasized building professional relationships. When Flatt won the award in 1999, MIDCO operated 477 vehicles for 23 school districts in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Thanks to him, the company became known for their community involvement and support of civic and rural activities. Tragically, he was killed in an airplane crash in 2004. The same year, he was posthumously honored with the Distinguished Service Award.

John Corr (2000)
Corr, the current president of the NSTA, has spent a quarter-century in the school transportation business. He got started in 1981 by buying one of his family’s satellite bus terminals. His dedication to quality of service allowed him to grow his company. The Trans Group is now one of the 10 largest contractors in North America. In 1997, the New York School Bus Contractors Association named him its Contractor of the Year, and a year later he received NSTA’s Distinguished Service Award. He won it again in 2003.

Phillip Paige (2001)
When Paige became involved in his father’s company in the early 1970s, he immersed himself in every aspect of the operation, including driving and maintenance. In his hands, Paige Bus Enterprises in Riverdale, Ill., grew from a small operation to more than 150 buses. In addition, Paige sat on the board of directors of the Illinois School Transportation Association, as well as the NSTA. He received the Golden Merit Award in 1998.

Pete Settle (2002)
After a long career in the educational transportation industry with his stepfather’s company, his family’s company and Laidlaw Transit, Settle left the industry in 1998. He thought he would finally get away from school buses. But less than a year later, after school districts sought him out for his transportation expertise, he started his own company. That company, Petermann LLC, grew to more than 500 buses in less than four years. He received the Golden Merit Award in 1993.

Bill Beck (2003)
The Beck Bus Transportation Group began in 1946 with George Beck. Since the early 1970s, his grandson, Bill Beck, has been the determined leader of the company. Under his leadership, it grew to more than 200 school buses, 18 charter coaches and 12 transit buses. Beck also led the industry as president of NSTA, balancing the needs of both large and small companies and working to expand NSTA’s membership and involvement.

Magda Dimmendaal (2004)
Dimmendaal began her career in 1973 as a driver for Dousman Transport in Wisconsin. Fifteen years later, after rising to the rank of VP, she bought the company. Once in charge, Dimmendaal, who was born in the Netherlands, didn’t forget her experiences as a driver — she made taking care of drivers a priority. She is a member of the NSTA board and a former president of the Wisconsin School Bus Association.

Michael Ely (2005)
Ely, president of family-owned Scholastic Bus Co., spearheaded New Jersey legislation to level the playing field between public- and private-sector competitors for school bus contracts. Previously, public entities in that state could bypass bidding processes for transportation contracts and were exempt from bonding or disclosure requirements. Thanks to Ely’s efforts, taxpayers benefit not only from increased competition between contractors and public entities, but also from an open bidding process and increased public accountability.

Donald Fowler (2006)
Fowler was recognized not for one position or achievement, but for many. Owning and managing family-based Fowler Bus Lines Inc. in Richmond, Mo., was part of it. But he was also recognized for his service of more than 10 years on the board of NSTA, currently serving as the secretary-treasurer. Fowler also has contributed his time and energy to the NAPT, Missouri Association for Pupil Transportation and the National Congress on School Transportation.



SBF’s Administrators of the Year

William E. Saunders (1974)
The first-ever vice president of the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT), Saunders was recognized for his years of work with the Normandy (Mo.) School District and his efforts in a number of safety conferences. In 1975 and ‘76, Saunders served as president of the NAPT.

Robert Larson (1975)
“School Bus Bob” Larson was one of the founding members of the NAPT and served as its first president. At the time of the award, he was transportation director for the Robbinsdale (Minn.) Area School District, where he would serve for 15 years. In 1997, Larson was one of the first inductees into the NAPT Hall of Fame.

Carlisle Beasley (1976)
Beasley was the transportation director of the Metro Nashville (Tenn.) Public Schools at the time of the award. He was known throughout the industry for his dedication to the business, his well-run program and transportation innovations. He is a past president of the NAPT and received the association’s Distinguished Service Award in 1990.

Leonard Vaughn (1977)
The transportation director for the St. Louis County Special School District, Vaughn was recognized for his outstanding record in the field of what was then called handicapped-pupil transportation. He served on the NAPT board in the late 1970s.

Randy Ingle (1978)
Ingle was named Administrator of the Year for his accomplishments as transportation director at the Fort Worth (Texas) School District. Ingle and the school district were also recognized by the Department of Transportation as having one of the outstanding fleets in the country. He was president of the NAPT for two years in the mid-1970s.

Sam Tornello (1979)
Tornello, transportation director at Madison Township Board of Education in Matawan, N.J., was recognized for running an exemplary operation with high regard for safety and efficiency.

Bill G. Loshbough (1980)
Loshbough, a former state pupil transportation director in New Mexico, also helped to coordinate the National School Bus Roadeo for several years. He also is a past president of the NAPT and received the association’s Distinguished Service Award in 1992.

Pete Martinez (1981)
Martinez was transportation director at Wichita Falls (Texas) School District when he was recognized with the award. In addition to his success in running a top-notch transportation operation, Martinez served on the NAPT board and the board of the Texas Association for Pupil Transportation.

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