-  Image: Canva/Patrick Dean

Image: Canva/Patrick Dean

See all our School Bus Fleet Trailblazers of 2023 in this article.

Patrick Dean

Age: 38

Works for: Dean Transportation

Role: President

Describe a day in your professional life.

Dean: In student transportation, no two days are alike! My primary focus day to day is to think strategically about how we can improve our student transportation systems, training, and team skills to achieve operational excellence at all levels. To do this, my days often consist of hearing feedback from our drivers and attendants, coaching our teams, working with superintendents and school boards on strategy, and advocating for our industry through work with national and state associations.

What brought you to the student transportation industry?

Dean: I was fortunate to grow up in the student transportation industry. My dad joined a special education bus company, Special Transportation, Inc., when I was two years old. Since that time, I have witnessed our industry’s essential purpose and met countless individuals who have a passion for the yellow school bus. I have also been proud to experience the technology innovations that have been put into operation over the past 15 years and continue to energize the future of student transportation.

What’s something critical that you’ve learned during your time in the student transportation industry?

Dean: Relationships built on trust and respect are essential. The student transportation industry and public-school systems are more complex than they may seem. Often, we work through complex challenges that may have multiple solutions. Establishing working relationships built on trust and respect will lead to positive collaboration and results for our students.

What’s your advice for someone considering a career in this industry?

Dean: Keep learning! Seek to understand the reasons why decisions are made, why policies and procedures are developed, how systems work, and how data can be used to coach and make key decisions. The student transportation industry has many knowledgeable and passionate individuals. As an industry, we all rally around safety for our students. I encourage those new to our industry to connect with others and learn from their experiences.

About the author
Wes Platt

Wes Platt

Executive Editor

Wes Platt joined Bobit in 2021 as executive editor of School Bus Fleet Magazine. He writes and edits content about student transportation, school bus manufacturers and equipment, legislative issues, maintenance, fleet contracting, and school transportation technology - from classic yellow diesel buses to the latest EPA-funded electric, propane, and CNG vehicles.

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