Management

Washington State Director Allan Jones to Retire

Thomas McMahon
Posted on August 22, 2016
Allan Jones, who began his career as a school bus driver nearly 40 years ago, will step down as Washington’s state director at the end of September.
Allan Jones, who began his career as a school bus driver nearly 40 years ago, will step down as Washington’s state director at the end of September.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — After nearly 40 years in pupil transportation, from school bus driver to state director, Allan Jones is ready to hit the road (although not in a school bus).

Jones, the director of student transportation at the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, is set to retire on Sept. 29.

Jones began his career in 1977 as a school bus driver for Laidlaw in Seattle. He shuttled students until 1990, when he shifted to driver training and then, less than two years later, to an assistant transportation director position for Olympia School District.

In 1998, Jones joined the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction as a program supervisor. He was named state director of student transportation in 2002.

As state director, Jones has overseen transportation funding distribution for Washington’s school districts as well as the authorization of more than 10,000 school bus drivers in the state. His office also conducts training programs for school bus driver instructors, annual in-service training for drivers, and the state’s Pupil Transportation Management Training Program.

Reflecting on his career of 39 years in the industry, Jones ranks his 14 years of safe school bus driving at the top of his list of achievements. He said that state directors, like everyone else who works in pupil transportation, are ultimately there to help the drivers carry out their mission.

“We are all just the support team for the school bus drivers,” Jones said. “They are the front line, getting kids to and from school safely every day. I’m proud to have had a part in supporting their work.”

Another source of pride for Jones is having worked on the implementation of the McKinney-Vento Act transportation requirement to keep homeless students in their school of origin, which he said has made a “huge impact on the educational achievement of these kids that are going through tough times.”

For his efforts in that area, Jones was recognized by the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, which gave him an award for distinguished service and leadership in 2009.

Jones has also been involved in the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, including a three-year term as treasurer.

In retirement, the avid backpacker plans to spend more time in the outdoors. “I’m going to camp, hike, kayak, and work on my photography,” Jones said.

His first post-work excursion will be a road trip to several national parks in Oregon and California: Crater Lake, Yosemite, Sequoia, and Death Valley.

Jones’ replacement as Washington’s state director will be Glenn Gorton, formerly a program supervisor for the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Taking over the program supervisor role will be Patti Enbody, a driver trainer for Castle Rock (Wash.) School District who has served on the state committee that develops in-service training materials.

Related Topics: driver training, homeless students, NASDPTS, Washington

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
Comments ( 3 )
  • Carrol Johnston

     | about 4 years ago

    Alan Jones was a huge supporter in school bus replacement grants and partnered with the Department of Ecology.

  • See all comments
More Stories
Zonar's MyView app is designed to give parents and caregivers details and real-time location information for their children’s school buses. Photo courtesy Zonar
News

Zonar Releases School Bus Tracking App for Parents

MyView is designed to provide parents and caregivers details and real-time location information for their children’s school buses. The app’s dispatcher portal can also help school districts manage general school bus communications.

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which aims to provide greater support to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program during the COVID-19 pandemic, has passed the House. File photo
News

Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act Passes House, Senate

The proposed federal legislation aims to bolster support to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program during the COVID-19 pandemic with measures such as eliminating restrictions on non-payroll expenses and extending the rehiring deadline.

NASDPTS's new position paper details the reasons for the association’s support for three-point seat belts, common objections raised to adding them to school buses, and offers guidance on making the decision to require them in new buses. File photo courtesy Des Moines (Iowa) Public Schools
News

NASDPTS Releases New Position Paper on 3-Point Belts

The paper details the reasons for the association’s support for seat belts, common objections to adding them to school buses, and guidance on making the decision to require lap-shoulder belts in new buses.

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act includes measures such as eliminating restrictions on non-payroll expenses and extending the rehiring deadline. File photo
News

Lawmakers Introduce PPP Flexibility Act

The proposed legislation aims to bolster support to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic through the Paycheck Protection Program with measures such as eliminating restrictions on non-payroll expenses and extending the rehiring deadline.

Gary Sawyer says that staff members in his district worked tirelessly to ensure students’ success in an online learning environment, and that 98% of the district’s students have signed in to complete online work.
Article

5 Questions: Gary Sawyer on Delivering Resources, COVID-19 Uncertainties

The director of transportation for the School District of Manatee County (Fla.) discusses springing into action at the onset of the pandemic to provide meals, mobile devices, and connectivity to students and potential long-term impacts on student transportation brought about by the COVID-19 crisis.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!

We respect your data and privacy.
By clicking the submit button below, you are agreeing with Bobit Business Media’s Privacy Policy and this outlined level of consent.