Pete Baxter, the Indiana state pupil transportation director who has helmed key industry organizations and trained school bus professionals throughout the nation, has announced his retirement.
His last day at the Indiana Department of Education (DOE), where he heads the Office of School Transportation and Emergency Planning, will be July 26.
Baxter began his career in pupil transportation in 1980, when he was hired by the Indiana DOE as an instructor for the classroom training of new school bus drivers.
Over the years, he has held two of the most prominent roles in the school bus industry: president of the National Association for Pupil Transportation and president of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services.
Baxter has also served as the administrator of Indiana’s school bus committee, which has regulation authority for school bus construction and driver standards in the state.
In addition to his other duties, Baxter has for the past five years chaired the steering committee for the 15th National Congress on School Transportation, which convened last week in Warrensburg, Mo. In that position, he led efforts to improve the processes for updating the industry’s specifications and procedures manual.
In 2008, Baxter was named SCHOOL BUS FLEET’s Administrator of the Year. In an interview with SBF at the time, he said the teaching of school bus drivers has been the most rewarding part of his line of work.
“The fulfillment for me is helping them do their job,” Baxter said. “That’s how I look at my role in the department: helping them provide safe rides for kids.”