TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Ronnie McCallister, Florida’s new state director of pupil transportation, is no stranger to the state Department of Education (DOE): He first began working there in 1990.
McCallister succeeds longtime Florida state director Charlie Hood, who recently retired from the position and became executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services.
McCallister had many years of experience working with Hood. In 1990, McCallister joined the Florida DOE as a fleet program specialist. He was promoted to senior specialist in 1997 and then to assistant director of pupil transportation in 2004.
McCallister left the state DOE for a few years to work for Florida’s Orange County Public Schools as senior administrator of fleet services.
Of his time at the district, McCallister told SBF, “I had a great opportunity to work with a team of 115 professionals ranging from parts specialists, technicians, shop leads, garage managers and office support staff with one goal in mind: to do whatever was required to ensure we kept our fleet of 1,150 school buses and approximately 450 support vehicles safe and efficiently maintained to support the operational needs of the district.”
McCallister returned to the Florida DOE to become state director on July 7.
“I believe my 22 years of overall service to FDOE, [including] eight as assistant director, along with my years of actual school district service, will go a long way to help me” in the state director role, he said.
Hood concurred that McCallister's background has prepared him well for the position.
“Ronnie has extensive experience in school transportation, having worked in two local school districts before originally coming to work at Florida DOE," Hood said. "Prior to leaving DOE in 2012 to become fleet manager in Orange County, he was the assistant state director. Ronnie is well qualified and highly respected throughout the state. Now he’s back, and I’m grateful that Florida is in such capable hands.”