INDIANAPOLIS — The National School Transportation Association (NSTA) presented its annual awards for excellence at a ceremony here on Tuesday night.

The awards banquet was part of NSTA’s annual meeting and convention, which is being held in Indianapolis this year.

"The National School Transportation Association is delighted to honor this year's recipients for the dedication and commitment made by each to the school transportation industry," NSTA President Todd Monteferrario said.

Golden Merit Award

NSTA’s Golden Merit Award recognizes excellence in the industry in service, safety, and community responsibility. This year's recipients are:

• Lydell Banks, First Student, New Orleans.
• Darlene Davis, First Student, Olathe, Kansas.
• Keith Harms, Petermann Bus, Great Lakes region, Michigan.
• Sandra Higgins, Landmark Student Transportation, Alliston, Ontario.
• Emma Hussey, First Student, Windsor, Ontario.
• Alma Lawrence, Durham School Services, Irvine, California.
• Scott Parker, First Student, Chicago.
• Esther Sanford, Dean Transportation, Lansing, Michigan.
• Russ Stratton, Stratton Buses Inc., Cuba City, Wisconsin.

Outstanding Driver Service Award

The Outstanding Driver Service Award is given to school bus drivers who have demonstrated exemplary safety performance and a commitment to excellence. This year's recipient is Manuel Vasquez of First Student in Phoenix.

Hall of Fame Award

The Hall of Fame Award recognizes excellence in long-term efforts on behalf of pupil transportation. This year's recipient is Kyle Martin of the TransPar Group of Companies in Lee's Summit, Missouri.

Meritorious Service Award

The Meritorious Service Award was established to recognize leaders in improving pupil transportation safety, the promotion of NSTA, and the school bus industry. This year, the association honored two such individuals: Barry Stock of Landmark Student Transportation in Aurora, Ontario, and Ronna Weber, NSTA’s departing executive director.

Green School Bus Fleet Certification Program

NSTA's Green School Bus Fleet Certification Program recognizes members for their efforts in working toward a cleaner environment. The award has been reviewed and is endorsed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean School Bus USA Program. The certification levels are platinum, gold, silver, and bronze, depending on the level of fleet reduction in particulate matter. This year's award winners are:

• First Student, Council Rock, Pennsylvania.

• First Student, Bozeman, Montana; Lewisville, Texas; Portland, Oregon; Ogden, Utah; Olathe, Kansas; Orono, Minnesota; Waukesha, Wisconsin.
• Landmark/Sinton, Vaughn, Ontario.
• National Express LLC, Durham School Services, Casa Grande, Arizona; Rosemead, California; Waterbury, Connecticut.

• Dousman Transport Co., North Lake, Wisconsin.
• First Student, Avalon, California; McMinnville, Oregon; Providence, Rhode Island; Palm Springs, California; Springfield, Massachusetts; St. Andrews (Los Angeles), California; West Valley, California.
• Hendrickson Bus, Bayville, New York.
• Huntington Coach, Harbor Yard, New York.
• Landmark/Sinton, Alliston, Ontario.
• Mid Columbia Bus Co., Rainier, Oregon.

• First Student, Santa Ana, California; Seattle, Washington.
• Huntington Coach, Fifth Avenue, New York; Northport, New York.
• National Express LLC, Durham School Services, Racine, Wisconsin.

Also at the NSTA awards ceremony, School Bus Fleet presented its Contractor of the Year award to John Corrado of Suffolk Transportation Service in Bay Shore, New York.

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