Gene Kowalczewski

Kowalczewski took on the roles of president and chief operating officer at STA last year.

Student Transportation of America, an industry leader in school transportation, safety, and fleet services, has announced changes to its leadership.

Patrick Vaughan, the current chief executive officer of STA, has announced his intent to retire, effective June 30, 2024. Gene Kowalczewski, the current president and chief operating officer, has been named to succeed Vaughan as the new CEO, effective July 1, 2024.

Patrick Vaughan’s Retirement

Vaughan retires with more than 45 years of experience in the transportation industry, with the last 33 years dedicated to student transportation and passenger safety. Vaughan joined STA in 2011, became the president of STA's School Transportation Group in 2017, and rose to CEO in 2019. Throughout his tenure, Vaughan implemented key initiatives in safety, driver staffing, and technology, driving the company’s growth and enhancing its commitment to safe and reliable student transportation.

“It has been an honor to work alongside and lead such a dedicated and professional group of employees who do everything possible to serve the students we transport, the districts who rely on us, and the greater communities we support,” Vaughan said. “My time at STA has been incredibly fulfilling, and I am confident that the company is poised for continued growth and success under new leadership.”

“The entire board of directors is incredibly grateful to Patrick Vaughan for his unwavering commitment over the past several years, especially during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under his leadership, the company achieved historical growth and became the industry’s second-largest pupil transportation provider,” said Frédéric Lesage, chair of STA’s board.

Gene Kowalczewski Named New CEO

Gene Kowalczewski will succeed Vaughan as CEO. Kowalczewski joined STA in 2009 and has held senior executive roles in finance, business development, and operations, significantly contributing to the company’s expansion and operational excellence.

“Gene brings a proven track record of strong leadership and a true dedication to the transportation industry,” Vaughan said. “He is passionate about doing the right thing with respect to supporting our employees, advancing innovative technologies to improve safety and route efficiency, and accomplishing steady but disciplined growth. Gene will no doubt excel in the role of CEO as he did as president and chief operating officer, and I look forward to seeing where he takes the company.”

Kowalczewski has more than 30 years of experience in the student transportation industry and has been instrumental in leading STA’s growth from 3,500 to 22,000 route vehicles. He has served on the board of directors for the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) and the New York School Bus Contractors Association.

“I am delighted to have been appointed to lead STA and thank the board of directors for putting their trust in me,” Kowalczewski said. “I would also like to thank Patrick for his steady leadership and counsel over the past several years. I’m grateful for the opportunity to step into this position during such an exciting time for the company as we continue our strategic and disciplined growth, while remaining committed to safety and implementing new technologies to help us better serve our customers and the communities in which we operate.”

“The board is confident that under Gene Kowalczewski’s leadership, STA is poised to continue its growth trajectory while remaining true to its commitment to safety and connection to the communities it serves,” Lesage said.

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