THORNTON, Colo. — David Anderson, who started his career as a mechanic and worked his way up to the director level, will retire from his school district role in May.
Anderson, a 37-year veteran in the pupil transportation field, has been recognized for his expertise in school bus fleet maintenance and efficiency practices. In retirement, he plans to stay connected to the school transportation community as a consultant.
Anderson entered the industry in 1981 as a mechanic at Cherry Creek School District in Englewood, Colorado. Under the leadership of the district’s then-director of transportation, the late Joe Mirabella, Anderson rose in the ranks from mechanic to shop foreman to fleet manager.
Anderson has long been a proponent of adopting alternative fuels and retrofitting older diesel buses to reduce emissions. At Cherry Creek, he was one of the first to sign up for and champion the Denver-based Regional Air Quality Council’s (RAQC) school bus retrofit program.
In 2005, Anderson made the leap to director of transportation at another Colorado district, Adams 12 Five Star Schools in Thornton.
Among his efforts at Adams 12, Anderson orchestrated adjustments to school bell times to make busing more efficient. The result of the overhaul was a savings of $900,000.
Anderson’s leadership was also vital as Adams 12 developed and built a new, $20-million transportation facility, which the operation moved into in June 2010. The state-of-the-art building has a variety of features to reduce energy use, such as extra insulation, numerous skylights, and heated shop floors. Anderson’s department operates 163 school buses. The shop team also services an additional 132 support fleet vehicles.
During his career, Anderson has dedicated his time to numerous industry groups. He has served as a regional director for the National Association for Pupil Transportation, a Colorado delegate to the National Congress on School Transportation, a co-chair of the America’s Best School Bus Technician and Inspector program, and a board member for the Colorado State Pupil Transportation Association.
For his contributions to pupil transportation, SBF named Anderson its Administrator of the Year in 2012.
After he retires from Adams 12 on May 31, Anderson will join his wife, Theresa Anderson, as a consultant with Anderson Consulting LLC. His role in the business will focus on fleet management, facility construction, and school bus specifications.
Anderson’s position at Adams 12 will be posted in the near future, with a transition period planned in May before he steps down.
Anderson said that the decision to retire was a “very difficult” one, because he enjoys the camaraderie of his staff as they work together to serve the district’s students.
“I would say the daily interactions with coworkers is what I will miss, [as well as] making a difference with students,” Anderson said. “I have my entire career led by example, and my employees know that and respect me for it.”