Blake Krapf (center) of Krapf School Bus in West Chester, Pennsylvania, was inducted into the...

Blake Krapf (center) of Krapf School Bus in West Chester, Pennsylvania, was inducted into the National School Transportation Association’s (NSTA’s) Hall of Fame. He is pictured here with outgoing NSTA president John Benish Jr. of Cook-Illinois Corp. (left) and incoming NSTA president Carina Noble of National Express.

Photo courtesy NSTA

The National School Transportation Association (NSTA) presented its annual awards for excellence during a ceremony at the association’s annual meeting and convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The awards, which were presented on July 27, recognize all facets of private school transportation, according to a news release from the NSTA.

“I want to express my appreciation for the fine work done by these award winners. As you know, each of them has made great contributions in the field of student transportation,” said outgoing NSTA President John Benish Jr. “Unfortunately, last year we did not have the opportunity to come together as an industry to celebrate our achievements, so I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to meet in person and distribute these awards this year.”

Here are this year’s recipients:

Golden Merit Award: This award recognizes excellence in the industry in service, safety, and community responsibility. The 2021 recipients are Christopher Angell of Kobussen Buses, Fred Doelker of Dean Transportation, Ray Fattore of First Student, Janine (Jan) Hilliard of National Express, Robert Krueger of Dousman Transport, Sean McCabe of First Student, Connie Miller of First Student, DeAnne Montella of Cook-Illinois Corp., Denise Quezada (Diaz) of Cook-Illinois Corp., Bill Roche of First Student, Michelle Simon of National Express, and Tony Vidrine of First Student.

Outstanding Driver Service Award: This honor is awarded to school bus driver(s) who have demonstrated exemplary safety performance and a commitment to excellence. The 2021 recipient of this award was Tami Rice of First Student.

Hall of Fame Award: This award recognizes excellence in long-term efforts on behalf of pupil transportation. The 2021 recipient is Blake Krapf of Krapf School Bus in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Distinguished Service Award: This award recognizes special contributions made to pupil transportation contracting. The 2021 winner is Rob Nelson, formerly of Dousman Transport in Dousman, Wisconsin.

Thomas Built Buses Continuing Education and Professional Growth Grant: This grant is given to a member contractor or staff member to support continuing education initiatives. The 2021 recipient is Shane Lally of First Student.