Before going to work for the Kentucky Department of Education, Hanley served in the U.S. Air Force.  -  Photo: Kentucky Department of Education

Before going to work for the Kentucky Department of Education, Hanley served in the U.S. Air Force.

Photo: Kentucky Department of Education

When the National Congress on School Transportation meets again in 2025, Kentucky’s Elisa Hanley is expected to serve as vice-chair.

Hanley, pupil transportation branch manager for the Kentucky Department of Education, told School Bus Fleet that she considers membership on the NCST steering committee “a great honor.”

“As a state director, the president of (Southeastern States Pupil Transportation Conference), and as a former board member of (the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services), I understand the importance of the conference and what it means for the industry,” she said. “When I attended my first conference in 2015, I never imagined the role I play now as even being an option.”

The NCST is tied to NASDPTS, where Hanley has been a member since 2014. The NCST, which has met since 1939, sets standards for school bus safety and efficiency. Some states adopt the document as a whole, Hanley said, and some take pieces of it.

“The document that is produced not only provides us with a baseline for specifications, but it also provides procedural guidelines,” she said. “When the NTSB sends recommendations, such as how to properly secure a seatbelt on a student, it was incorporated into the document. Kentucky has used the document for out-of-service criteria when writing our inspector manual. What the NCST does has an impact on the industry and the lives of the students for years and decades to come. So, when the NCST was looking for someone to step up as vice-chair, I already knew the NASDPTS team and agreed to become part of the committee.”

Other NCST steering committee members so far:

  • Patrick McManamon, NASDPTS
  • Michael LaRocco, NASDPTS
  • Max Christensen, NASDPTS
  • Keith Henry, National Association for Pupil Transportation
  • Donnie Fowler, National School Transportation Association
  • Dan Kobussen, NSTA
  • Laura Greene-Halley, National Safety Council
  • Lydell Banks, NSC
  • Joe Labonte, School Bus Manufacturers Technical Council
  • Kenneth Whisnant, SBMTC

The 17th NCST had been planned for 2021, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now scheduled for an in-person event at the Holiday Inn Airport in Des Moines, Iowa, on May 3-7, 2025.

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