|Ohio's Simmons Elected to NAPT Board of Directors|
|Written by Ryan Gray|
|Tuesday, 30 October 2012 11:49|
During the NAPT Summit in Memphis, Tenn., members hit the ballot box during the trade show on Oct. 23 and 24 and voted for Steve Simmons, director of transportation for Columbus (Ohio) City Schools, to become the association's new Region 3 director.
Simmons, a 30-year veteran of the industry and current president of the Ohio Association for Pupil Transportation, ran unopposed to succeed former NAPT President William Tousley, whose term expired. Tousley, the director of transportation at Farmington (Mich.) Public Schools, and former NAPT Director-at-Large Launi Schmutz, the director of transportation at Washington County (Utah) School District, also received service awards from NAPT, as both "termed out," according to an NAPT spokeswoman, which means they can no longer run for any board position.
Willie A. Tarleton, director of transportation at Midland ISD in Texas and a former Region 4 director, is NAPT's treasurer and the Peter Mannella, Region 2 director and the executive director of the New York Association for Pupil Transportation, is the new board secretary.
As Region 3 director, Simmons represents the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, New Brunswick and Prince Edward. His day job includes overseeing 1,000 employees and a fleet of 545 district-owned school buses and 250 contractor-owned buses for the 26th largest school district in the nation and the largest in Ohio. He joined the district before as a school bus mechanic and has served as a shop supervisor, fleet operations supervisor, transportation dispatcher and transportation budget director.
“I will ensure that the training and development of safe student transportation is at the forefront of the region,” said Simmons, who oversees an award-winning training department, as seen with this year’s School Bus Driver Training and Safety Award from IC Bus. “I will ensure that positive working relationships in the region continue and that region members reach out to each other to help develop a core of knowledge that members of the region can use.”
He told School Transportation News that, as an NAPT Board director, he would also target collaboration between large and small school districts.
“Just because you are a small district doesn’t mean you need to be afraid to ask the big boys questions to your problems,” he said. “At OAPT, we have been pushing collaboration. Don’t put everything on your own shoulders. There are thousands of people out there who are dealing with the same challenges.”
For example, he said vendors and larger districts, such as Columbus City, should utilize their joint purchasing power to reach smaller, rural districts with innovations like GPS.
Born and raised in the Columbus area, Simmons served in the U.S. Navy as a jet mechanic. F, and following an honorable discharge, he returned home to begin his student transportation career as a mechanic for a local school bus contractor.
He currently serves as chairman of the City of Columbus Transportation and Pedestrian Commission and is a member of the Central Ohio Transit Authority Mobility Option Committee. He has also sat on the Ohio School Bus Construction Standards Committee for the past decade. Earlier this year, Simmons received the William Rice Award as Ohio’s pupil transportation administrator of the year. In 2009, Columbus City Schools also received a clean fleet award from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission in recognition of the district’s school bus anti-idling program.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 12:21|