PORTLAND, Ore. — In his more than 30 years in the industry, Pete Japikse has worked in a variety of aspects of pupil transportation, holding positions at school district and contractor operations as well as at the state level.
For the past 10 years, he has served as Ohio’s state pupil transportation director, a role in which he is a driving force for improving school bus safety and service standards in the state.
For his contributions to the industry at the local, state and national levels, Japikse was named SCHOOL BUS FLEET’s 37th Administrator of the Year.
SBF Publisher Frank Di Giacomo presented the honor at the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) awards banquet in Portland on Sunday night.
Japikse manages Ohio’s pupil transportation rules and regulations, making sure they are up to industry standards. He oversees the mandatory training program for the state’s school bus drivers, and he provides workshops for manager development as well.
Japikse works closely with districts to help them increase efficiency, providing them with data to benchmark their performance. His office is at the state Department of Education, but he spends at least half of his time out in the field.
On the national level, Japikse has served as president of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, and he was instrumental in forming the American School Bus Council. A few months ago, he was named chair of the steering committee for the 2015 National Congress on School Transportation.
An in-depth profile of Japikse will appear in the January issue of SBF.
More industry awards are to be presented in a ceremony Monday morning. A full list of award winners will be posted on the SBF Website.