Show cover of School Transportation Nation

School Transportation Nation

For nearly 30 years, you’ve known School Transportation News magazine and STNonline.com as the premier sources of pupil transportation news and analysis. Now, join the School Transportation Nation podcast, as STN Publisher Tony Corpin and Editor-in-Chief Ryan Gray discuss the day’s pertinent issues and talk with guests about the business of getting children safely to and from school and related activities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Tracks

Security Training, 25 Years After Columbine + Top Transportation Teams Time
How will the increasingly popular four-day school week affect student transportation operations? Also, learn more about opportunities to recognize your innovative, hardworking peers in the school bus industry. Bret Brooks, senior consultant at Gray Ram Tactical and frequent STN EXPO presenter, looks at lessons learned (or not learned) on the 25th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting and gives tips to keep both students and drivers safe. Hear his talk on incident command at STN EXPO Reno in July. Hear about the teamwork at Klein (Texas) ISD from Director of Transportation John Ferguson, a winner of last year’s Top Transportation Teams award from Transfinder, and find out how to apply this year. Read more about safety.
60:05 4/16/24
Adopt & Adapt: National Perspectives on Clean School Bus Choices
Mobile electric school bus charging solutions, and more details on the EPA GHG (greenhouse gas emissions) regulations. Get a detailed look into the state of clean student transportation, perspectives from school bus manufacturers, legislature to watch, and more with Nate Springer, vice president of market development at TRC Companies, the producer of the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) EXPO in Las Vegas this May. Read more about green bus.
46:55 4/9/24
Superintendent Snapshot 4/4: Dublin City Schools, Georgia
Ryan and Tony analyze the impact of new stringent EPA greenhouse gas emissions regulations on the school bus industry, as well as aspects of a fatal Texas rollover crash involving a school bus not equipped with seatbelts being hit by a concrete truck whose driver had taken cocaine. “There’s no I in ‘team’ but there’s an I in ‘win,’ and when you want to win you’ve got to have the right individuals.’” AASA finalist for Superintendent of the Year Dr. Frederick Williams and Transportation Director John Strickland from Dublin City Schools in Georgia have an easy rapport from decades of friendship. They discuss overcoming adversity, servant leadership, caring for staff, and more. Read more at stnonline.com/tag/leadership. 
60:22 4/2/24
Superintendent Snapshot 3/4: Saint Paul Public Schools, Minnesota
This week’s headlines include updated EPA regulations for light- and medium-duty vehicles. Will McDermott, head of student services for First Student, shares how the FirstServes program aims to bridge the gap between the ride to school and the classroom experience. “There were some wet, heavy flakes coming down, kind of that picturesque city snowfall… three hours later, you couldn’t see out our windows.” AASA Superintendent of the Year award winner Dr. Joe Gothard and Transportation Director Ben Harri from Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota take us behind the scenes of the mechanics and partnerships required for student busing, including post-pandemic and inclement weather adjustments. Read more about leadership.
52:40 3/26/24
Superintendent Snapshot 2/4: Contoocook Valley School District, New Hampshire
The NTSB is investigating a tragic crash that killed a school bus driver and 3 preschool passengers. Meanwhile, the District of Columbia is in legal hot water over the busing of students with disabilities.  Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Rizzo Saunders, another AASA finalist for Superintendent of the Year, and Business Administrator Brian Cisneros share how they work with a transportation contractor, use propane buses, and retain drivers to overcome challenges related to weather, rural locations, and more at Contoocook Valley School District in New Hampshire.  Read more at stnonline.com/tag/leadership.
42:40 3/19/24
Superintendent Snapshot 1/4: Tomball Independent School District, Texas
Ryan & Tony analyze New York’s aggressive electrification push, as well as an uptick in school bus driver DUIs and arrests.  “Districts take the flavor of their superintendent.” Superintendent Dr. Martha “Dr. Z” Salazar-Zamora, COO Dr. Steven Gutierrez, and Director of Transportation Sandy Dillman from rapidly growing Tomball Independent School District in Texas, join us for a conversation on the leadership and collaboration that allowed Dr. Z to be named as one of four finalists for AASA’s Superintendent of the Year award.  Read more at stnonline.com/tag/leadership.
53:36 3/12/24
Hypnosis & School Bus Extrication: Upcoming STN EXPO Speaker Previews
Concerning business updates and new federal resources in the ever-shifting world of school bus electrification. Hypnosis, mind expansion, and trance-formation! Speaker and entertainer Wayne Lee previews his keynote session at STN EXPO Indy on elevating performance in both one’s personal life and workplace. Paul Hasenmeier, fire chief for Hernando County in Florida, talks about his new book “School Bus Extrication,” his STN EXPO Reno emergency response session, responding to electric school bus fires, collaboration between school transportation and first responders, and lap/shoulder seatbelt recommendations. Read more at stnonline.com/tag/stn-expo.
66:04 3/5/24
Managerial Perspectives: From Dairy Farming to Black History Month
Conversations on the role bus drivers can play in student safety reopen after a missing Texas student rider was found murdered and several students were struck and killed by their buses.  From working on a dairy farm to becoming transportation and logistics administrator for Cache County and Logan City School Districts in Utah, Wayne Reese looks at safety techniques, technology and training to prevent student deaths at bus stops. (Download the CCSD safety pamphlet.) Jim Ellis, director of pupil transportation for Henrico County Public Schools in Virginia, discusses aspects of his years in leadership, including the management and support of school bus drivers, the role played by DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion), and the use of technology and safety equipment.  Read more at stnonline.com/tag/leadership.
57:27 2/20/24
Talk About It: School Bus vs. Tesla in Super Bowl Ad & Top-Level Superintendent Convos
Transportation lighting and safety company Clarience Technologies acquired safety technology company Safe Fleet and a Super Bowl ad slammed Tesla’s full-self driving mode used around school buses.  Tony and Taylor share highlights from the School Superintendents Association’s National Conference on Education, where top level student transportation conversations took place and Dr. Joe Gothard of Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota was named this year’s Superintendent of the Year.  Read more at stnonline.com/tag/superintendent.
30:57 2/20/24
The Person in the Front Seat: Retaining Drivers & Going Green in Las Vegas
We analyze the latest, including Blue Bird’s earnings report, green energy opportunities, a student killed in the Danger Zone, and a change in CDL regulations.  Clark County School District in Las Vegas has more unique features than just being down the street from Super Bowl LVIII. Executive Director of Transportation Jennifer Vobis, also the winner of the 2022 STN Transportation Director of the Year Award, joins us to discuss driver support efforts to increase pay and reduce vacancies, using biofuel for the fleet and incorporating electric buses. Read more at stnonline.com/tag/operations.
45:44 2/13/24
Safety Envelope: Ohio Safety Group Findings, Seatbelts & Technology
Tony, Ryan and Taylor discuss the Collins Bus acquisition by Forest River. The safety conversation intensifies around recommendations but no seatbelt mandate from the Ohio school bus safety group following a fatal crash last August. Read the STN February issue all about safety at stnonline.com/go/feb24. Keep updated on industry headlines & analysis at stnonline.com/safety.
37:20 2/6/24
How We Get Better: Security Lessons From Uvalde, Ukeru Student Management System
Tony gives updates from the National School Transportation Association midwinter meeting and Ryan shares what a new Department of Justice report on the Uvalde shooting can teach the industry about emergency response.  Shelly Hall, senior vice president of health and safety for national pupil transportation contractor Student Transportation of America, discusses the implementation and benefits of STA’s new concept of special needs care through the Ukeru System, a trauma-informed, restraint-free approach to student behavior management. Read more at stnonline.com/safety.
46:12 2/1/24
Take a Pause: Student Fatalities, Utah District’s Electrification Journey
Danger Zone safety and training are forefront after a Florida student ran back under his school bus and was killed. There’s also a lot of focus on and controversy in federal electrification efforts.  Ken Martinez, transportation manager for Salt Lake City School District in Utah, discusses various aspects of electric school bus implementation, including their impact on students with special needs, troubleshooting charging infrastructure, operating in cold weather, and more.  Salt Lake City School District won a Green Bus Summit Green Fleet Award during STN EXPO Reno 2022. Read more at stnonline.com/safety and stnonline.com/green-bus.
38:06 1/23/24
Change Everywhere: Electric Funding & Critique, IC Bus Supports ESB Adoption
The Clean School Bus Program shifts in response to feedback and electric buses continue to roll out. But it’s an election year and what will the future hold?  Trish Reed, vice president of zero emissions for IC Bus parent company Navistar, takes a holistic look at supporting school districts through applying for funding, receiving electric buses, and implementing the vehicles in operations.  Read more at stnonline.com/green-bus.
53:06 1/16/24
Extension of the Classroom: New Federal Funds for School Bus Wi-Fi
We break down industry trends as reported in the all-new 2024 STN Buyer’s Guide and special needs transportation analysis from our new January issue. Keith Krueger, CEO of the Consortium for School Networking, delves into what districts need to know about the Federal Communications Commission ruling allowing E-Rate funds to be used for school bus Wi-Fi hotspots, as well as how to use technology for student support and equity. Read more at stnonline.com/technology.
61:25 1/10/24
From Christmas Trees to Technology: A Year-End Conversation with Transfinder
CEO Antonio Civitella joins the podcast to discuss holiday preparations, reflect on Transfinder’s accomplishments, including recognizing 6 Top Transportation Teams from school districts nationwide and winning best Hardware and Software at STN EXPO Reno, and talk about exciting new projects.   Get your updates & analysis on the school transportation industry at stnonline.com.
41:10 12/20/23
2023 in Review: Top Student Transportation Stories of the Year
Tony, Ryan and Taylor review the top news stories of 2022 and what the tragic or shocking tales can teach us about operational management, student safety, staff training, parent relations, industry trends, and more.  Get your updates & analysis on the school transportation industry at stnonline.com.
52:56 12/12/23
Future of Fuel: School Bus Energy Options, Electric Updates From NY District
Senate conversations on emissions, clean fuel developments from bus manufacturers, and what that means for the student transportation industry. We also recap interesting sessions and conversations from the TSD Conference. Alfred Karam, director of transportation for Shenendehowa Central School District in New York, gives insights on translating his history in the Marines to school transportation leadership, LGBTQ training for staff, dealing with the driver shortage, and meeting the state’s 2027 EV mandate. Read more at stnonline.com/green-bus.
51:20 12/6/23
Onsite at the TSD Conference, Part 2/2: Contracting, Safety & Leadership
Tony and Ryan caught up with several friends at the TSD Conference, who shared about the latest and greatest in transporting students with special needs. Gregg Prettyman, vice president of FirstAlt by First Student, shares how tailored transportation contracting assists districts serving students with special needs.  Clint Bryer, director of sales in student transportation for Safety Vision, discusses modern developments with school bus camera systems. (Timestamp 12:56) Teresa Fleming, executive director of operations for the School District of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, accepted her award for Transportation Director of the Year at the TSD Conference and weighs in on what leadership entails. (Timestamp 21:43) Read more about the TSD Conference.
34:02 11/29/23
Onsite at the TSD Conference, Part 1/2: Technology, Cameras & Special Needs
Tony and Ryan caught up with several friends at the TSD Conference, who shared about the latest and greatest in transporting students with special needs.  John Daniels, vice president of marketing for Transfinder, shares how the company’s “One Partner, One Solution” school bus technology suite helps school districts better serve student riders. (Timestamp 1:19) Joe Allen, senior sales executive in the school bus division for Safe Fleet, is joined by Anthony Shields, director of transportation for San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District in Texas, who shares how the company’s camera technology improves safety. (Timestamp: 8:46) Consultant, industry veteran and TSD Tenured Faculty member Alexandra Robinson weighs in on what transporters of students with special needs are currently facing and what they should consider for the future. (Timestamp: 18:05) Read more at stnonline.com/tag/tsd-conference.
28:22 11/21/23
And the Data Says...: Insights on Danger Zone Safety, Electric School Bus Funding
The new National School Bus Loading and Unloading Survey from the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services underscores lessons on student safety. CEO Duncan McIntyre shares how Highland Electric Fleets supports school districts in electrifying their bus fleets and what they should consider in terms of funding.  Read more at http://stnonline.com/safety.  
35:46 11/14/23
Defining Your Why: Industry Vet of 35 Years, Live From the NAPT Conference
Tony and Taylor discuss putting together the November issue cover story on Transportation Director of the Year Teresa Fleming of the School District of Philadelphia, as well as takeaways from the recent National Association of Pupil Transportation (NAPT) Conference & Trade Show.  Live at the NAPT Conference, John Hennessey, director of transportation for Worcester Public Schools in Massachusetts and winner of the NAPT Distinguished Service Award, shares stories and insights from his 35-year career in the industry. Additionally, Fin Livingston, general manager of Scraper Systems, shares how the FleetPlow safely and efficiently clears snow from school bus roofs. Read more at stnonline.com/tag/leadership. 
48:49 11/7/23
New in November: Leadership Awards & Special Needs Training
A preview of upcoming conferences, a rundown of Transportation Director of the Year award winners & more.  Bus Monitor Irma O'Connell (also a 2023 STN Rising Superstar) and Operations Manager Jason Schwartz from Widefield School District #3 in Colorado delve meticulously into necessary staff training for transporting students with special needs. Read more at stnonline.com/special-needs. 
36:09 10/31/23
Making Progress: Wyoming Rising Star + Propane, Non-Yellow Bus Convos
We break down the FCC’s approval of school bus WiFi funding through the E-Rate program and an Ohio safety group’s discussion on lap-shoulder belts. Director of Transportation and 2023 STN Rising Superstar Colby Stevens gives a peek into challenges and operations at Teton County School District #1 in a beautiful, cold, rural part of Wyoming. Daniel Hernandez, chief operating officer for Adroit and senior vice president of operations at Beacon Mobility, talks meeting district and student needs with non-yellow bus transportation. Steven Whaley, senior director of autogas business development for the Propane Education & Research Council, responds to a misleading Vox article and shares the progress of propane in the school bus industry. Learn more at stnonline.com/latest-news.
64:36 10/24/23
Getting Clarity: Official Mandates + Portland Public Schools Update
Headlines include a new California electric school bus mandate and how it could be fulfilled, as well as the National Congress on School Transportation weighing in on alternative student transportation.  Brandon Coonrod delves into serving as assistant director and now interim director of transportation for Portland Public Schools, discussing the driver shortage, contracting, fleet electrification and fuel choices, technology, and the search for a new director.  Read more at stnonline.com/tag/leadership. 
52:30 10/17/23
Concerning: Bus Driver Killer Released + Handling Problematic Student Sexual Behavior
An upcoming Federal Communication Commission vote may provide more school bus Wi-Fi funding and the Tennessee murderer of a school bus driver was released. Shelley Rutledge, a school psychologist and a licensed clinical social worker with the Salem-Keizer School District in Oregon, delves into the touchy topic of problematic sexual behavior in student riders and previews her keynote at the Transporting Students with Disabilities and Special Needs Conference in November. Read more at stnonline.com/special-needs. 
47:30 10/10/23
Moving Toward EVs: Clean School Bus Program, Green NY Contractor Conversation
Tony and Ryan discuss a new round of Clean School Bus Program funding, the need for infrastructure, and a government shutdown. School bus contractor Suffolk Bus Corporation is located in New York, which is mandating electric school buses by 2035, and won a Green Fleet Award at the Green Bus Summit during this year’s STN EXPO Reno. Thomas Smith, vice president of school operations and business development, joins us to discuss current operations and future strategies.  Read more at stnonline.com/green-bus.
57:58 10/3/23
Huge Difference: TX Transportation Team Improves Culture + NY Illegal Passing Strategy
Analysis on economic trends, including what rising fuel prices and a California electric school bus mandate means for the industry. Annamarie Banner, director of transportation for Garland ISD in Texas, a winner of Transfinder’s Top Transportation Teams award, talks school startup, technology and teambuilding. Director of Emergency Services Patrick Dewing shares how the Verra Mobility stop arm camera enforcement system was implemented and is being used for school bus rider safety in Broome County, New York.  Read more at stnonline.com/tag/teamwork and stnonline.com/tag/safety. 
45:31 9/26/23
Our Role Here: Dedication & Collaboration Leads to Successful Transportation Team
Discussions on safety equipment for school buses, economic trends and autonomous vehicles. We talk bus operations and department collaboration with Todd Livesay, director of transportation of Franklin Township Community School Corporation in Indiana, a winner of Transfinder’s Top Transportation Teams award. Read more at stnonline.com/tag/teamwork. 
44:21 9/19/23
Support Everybody: Expert Talks Special Education and Transportation
Headlines on EV battery production, school bus TV segments, a COVID-19 spike, and a study on data collection. Nationally certified school psychologist Dr. Ben Springer delves into the intersection of special education and transportation, as well as his TSD Conference keynote on managing aggressive student behaviors on the bus. Read more at stnonline.com/tag/special-needs. 
49:06 9/12/23

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