Zonar and the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) announced the 2015 winners of the annual Don Carnahan Memorial Grant last week at the NAPT Summit in Richmond, Virginia.

This year’s 11 recipients, with combined fleets of almost 1,000 school buses, will receive up to $50,000 each for the latest school bus security, safety and efficiency technology hardware.

Zonar is providing the recipients with fleet management technology that is designed to give school districts transparency and control of their bus operations through real-time tracking and monitoring. The fleet management solution verifies that maintenance and inspections are up to date, remotely detects and flags mechanical issues to reduce performance problems and help eliminate breakdowns, and monitors idling and speed to enhance fleet efficiency.

The fleet management technology that grant recipients received includes Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting (EVIR), found on the Zonar 2010 and 2020; GPS (V3); real time engine diagnostic reporting; student tracking (Z Pass); and web-based software (Ground Traffic Control).

Grant recipients are NAPT members and were selected based on their proposed plans with expected return on investment for using Zonar’s fleet management solutions.

The winners are:

•    Sherri Lawson, director of transportation, Spring Branch Independent School District, Houston, Texas
•    Jason Osborn, director of transportation, Temecula (Calif.) Valley Unified School District
•    John P. Hennessey Jr., director of transportation, Worcester (Mass.) Public Schools
•    Sandi Pettey, transportation supervisor, Rincon Valley Union School District, Santa Rosa, California
•    Matthew Thomas, director of transportation, Anaheim (Calif.) Union High School District
•    Greg Liedl, transportation coordinator, Bemidji (Minn.) Area Schools
•    Rick Lewis, director of transportation, Anaheim (Calif.) City School District
•    Steve Hull, president, Hull Bus Lines Ltd., Petrolia, Ontario
•    Steve Bui, director of transportation, Montebello (Calif.) Unified School District
•    Frances Lemons, transportation manager, Lompoc (Calif.) Unified School District
•    Justin Dennison, director of transportation, Kent (Wash.) School District

“NAPT applauds Zonar for its many contributions to the school bus industry, and for this generous grant. Every school district is facing tight budgets. The grant winners will be able to implement efficiencies and reduce maintenance costs with Zonar’s powerful technology,” said Mike Martin, executive director of NAPT. “The winning districts will also be able to track the location of their students as they travel to and from school. You can’t put a price tag on the peace of mind that Zonar technology provides for these communities.”

“We are thrilled to provide this year’s grant winners with technology solutions to help increase safety of their vehicles and real-time information about the transportation of their students to and from school," said H. Kevin Mest, senior vice president of business development at Zonar Systems. “I look forward to working with them and sharing in the success stories of this year’s winners.”

The award, previously known as the Zonar/NAPT Grant, has been renamed the "Don Carnahan Memorial Grant" in recognition of Carnahan's lifelong contributions to the student transportation industry. Carnahan dedicated 45 years to the education and pupil transportation industry, including school district administration, Department of Education administration and private sector employment, partnering with education institutions. Carnahan joined Zonar in 2003 and served 11 years as a company leader. He was also a two-term president of NAPT.

To be considered as a future Don Carnahan Memorial Grant recipient, a school system must be an ongoing NAPT member as well as a member at the time the application is submitted. School systems currently using alternate technology that want to switch to Zonar are also encouraged to apply. Applications that include matching funds will be considered.

Get more information on the grants here.

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