KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) has a new president: Keith Henry, director of transportation for Lee’s Summit (Mo.) R-7 School District.

“I am honored to be president of NAPT,” Henry said, “and I am humbled by the opportunity my peers have given me. NAPT has a long, rich history filled with notable, successful leaders; one of my goals is to maintain the standard of excellence they have created.”

Henry, who was president-elect when NAPT President Don Carnahan died on Oct. 3, became NAPT president immediately afterward but told the board that he would continue to consider himself president-elect until the Summit, which was held Nov. 8-11 in Kansas City.

“It was very important to me — and fortunately the entire board agreed — that people understand the invaluable role Don played at this year’s NAPT Summit,” Henry said. “Don wanted us to re-imagine and re-engineer every component of our conference. He worked closely with the staff and was involved in every aspect of decision-making for 11 months. This was his conference as much as anyone’s. He deserved the utmost respect, and I wanted to ensure he received it.”

Henry will serve as president for the remainder of Carnahan’s term and will begin his own two-year term next year.

Steve Simmons will serve as acting president-elect until NAPT’s next election.

Steve Simmons will serve as acting president-elect until NAPT’s next election.

Henry’s new role created a vacancy in the office of president-elect. NAPT Region 3 Director Steve Simmons, director of transportation at Columbus (Ohio) City Schools, has been asked by the NAPT board to serve as acting president-elect until the next NAPT election, which will be held in November 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.

Simmons said that while he is “honored to serve in this interim capacity, I am also sad. If Don were alive, I wouldn’t need to do it. But we must move forward, and I am willing to do whatever I can to help my teammates on the board create products and services that enhance communication, leadership, education, advocacy and research that will help our members.”

According to NAPT Executive Director Mike Martin, Simmons’ change in positions leaves a vacancy on the board for Region 3 director.

“Our by-laws require the board to fill that vacancy, but they want to hear from our members, including our state association partners, in that region first,” Martin said. “Steve will make an outreach to NAPT members in Region 3 to find out who is interested in the position. Whenever members in that region reach a consensus on who they want as their representative, the board will make an appointment.”

Elections were held in Kansas City for the NAPT director seats in Regions 2 and 4. NAPT Region 2 Director Barry Sudduth, director of transportation for Stafford County (Va.) Public Schools, and Region 4 Director Kenny Mulder, director of transportation for Special School District in St. Louis, ran unopposed and were therefore re-elected by acclamation of the membership at the association’s annual business meeting on Nov. 8. Each will serve another three-year term on the board.

“I am really pleased and very fortunate to have another term on the board,” Sudduth said. “I not only enjoy working with the NAPT staff and my teammates on the board, I am excited by the opportunities we have to expand our educational programs. It has been both fun and challenging to try and keep up with the demand for our products and services.”

“It’s a real honor to be re-elected to represent NAPT members in Region 4,” Mulder said. “I’m happy to have the opportunity to keep working on NAPT’s specialized transportation initiatives, like the Team Safety Roadeo we co-sponsor with STN and the hands-on training we integrated into the recently completed America’s Best event in Kansas City. I believe we can do even more for our members that provide specialized transportation and our business partners that work in this market segment.”

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