CINCINNATI — First Student’s president is leaving the company for a position outside of the organization, the school bus company announced on Tuesday.
Dennis Maple will step down in August, and Paul Osland, First Student’s chief operating officer, will serve as interim president, according to a news release from the school bus company.
“Under Dennis’s leadership, First Student has delivered visible progress across many key areas,” said Matthew Gregory, FirstGroup's chief executive. “I would like to thank Dennis for his commitment and recognize the significant contribution he has made to First Student. He leaves with our thanks and good wishes for the future.”
Maple joined First Student in January 2014.
“It has been a privilege to serve as the president of First Student, and I’m very proud of what we, as a team, have accomplished,” Maple said. “The business has significant potential for further growth and I know the First Student team will continue to build on our success.”
During Maple’s tenure, First Student realized a return to revenue and fleet growth by strengthening the operating structure and cost base, and placing a renewed focus on process discipline, according to the school bus company.
In the last fiscal year, First Student earned a contract retention rate of 97% across the entire portfolio of multi-year contracts. For “at risk” business, the contract retention rate was 92%, the highest level in more than five years, according to First Student.
The company continues to grow in a variety of ways, including acquisitions; the introduction of First Transportation Solutions, its consultative services product; and expanded use of the FirstView district dashboard and parent app, with more than 350,000 students accessing the app.
Osland joined First Student in 2016 and is responsible for the overall day-to-day operations of the organization. In his role, Osland focuses on strengthening the operating structure and continuing to build an emphasis on process discipline. He has been instrumental in helping First Student achieve excellent contract retention rates, record customer satisfaction scores, and leading employee engagement scores, according to the school bus company.
Prior to joining First Student, Osland served as chief facilities officer for Chicago Public Schools. He will serve as interim president while the ongoing search for a successor is completed.
First Student is a division of FirstGroup PLC.
In related news, FirstGroup PLC announced in May that it is selling Greyhound, its North American intercity bus line, and First Bus, its U.K. bus operation, with the intent of focusing on its pupil transportation and public transit brands.