MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Joe Lightsey has retired from his longtime role as Alabama’s state pupil transportation director, but his work in the industry will continue with a new position.
Lightsey stepped down as state director at the Alabama State Department of Education (SDE) on Feb. 1. He served in the position for more than 15 years, and before that he held several other roles for the SDE since 1985. Prior to joining the state department, he worked at the local school system level as a teacher, assistant principal and principal.
“While I look forward to the future and to new challenges, I am also somewhat apprehensive about leaving my position as director of pupil transportation and a career path that I have enjoyed for over 40 years,” he said in an email to colleagues. “More than anything, I will miss my devoted staff as well as my many other colleagues and friends at the SDE and in the local school systems.”
Still, Lightsey will maintain his industry ties in a new position with Pelham, Alabama-based Transportation South Inc. He will serve as the dealership’s school bus market development manager.
Meanwhile, Kevin Snowden has been named Lightsey’s successor as Alabama state director.
“I know that Alabama’s rich tradition of transporting students safely will continue under the new program coordinator, Kevin Snowden, and his committed staff,” Lightsey said.
Snowden previously worked for Shelby County (Ala.) Schools for 26 years. During the first half of that time, he was a band director. Then he served as the district’s transportation coordinator for about 14 years. However, his pupil transportation experience extends much further back.
“I have been driving a bus since I was 16 — licensed in February of 1979,” Snowden told SBF. “[I] drove my own route during my senior year of high school.”