AUSTIN, Texas — School bus routing software developer Transfinder presented its fifth annual Ambassador of the Year award to Humble (Texas) Independent School District (ISD) on Tuesday.
Antonio Civitella, the president and CEO of Transfinder, announced the winner at Transfinder’s tenth Annual Client Summit in Austin, which was attended by 270 school transportation officials from 35 states and two Canadian provinces.
Civitella credited Humble ISD for their efforts in using Transfinder’s technology to combat Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
“Humble ISD represents the type of district that goes above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done,” Civitella said. “The district showed ingenuity in how it used Transfinder technology in the midst of very difficult circumstances. With one high school uninhabitable, Humble ISD held two high school sessions in one building, with thousands of students arriving in the morning and departing at noon and a second shift arriving at noon. The district had a week to route two schools under extreme conditions.”
Hurricane Harvey reportedly made landfall three times in six days, dumping two feet of rain in the first 24 hours. The only two direct paths to reach the northern parts of the district had water flowing over the bridges and were inaccessible. As Steve Silence, the routing supervisor for Humble ISD, put it, “When we should have been starting school routes, we were coordinating getting our buses to evacuate people, bring food and supplies to our flooded families.”
Silence, in accepting the award, thanked Transfinder for helping the district survive Harvey.
Following the Ambassador of the Year ceremony, Dr. Tracy Ginsberg, executive director of the Texas Association of School Business Officials, addressed attendees about the significant role they play in their communities.
“You have the biggest budget in the community,” Ginsberg told attendees. “And you certainly interact with more people."
In Texas, Ginsburg said school districts traveled a total of 251 million miles last year, not including special education or extracurricular trips.
"Every day we took 1.5 million students somewhere," she said. "That’s like taking the entire population of San Antonio, loading them up on a bus and there’d still be some people left over. We do big things. We do great things. And there is absolutely no greater people than the people you work with.”
On Monday, Civitella also gave clients an exclusive “Glimpse Into the Future,” by describing products Transfinder will be rolling out.