The American School Bus Council recognized Lt. Ray Robinson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol with a School Bus Champion Award during a general session at the recently held Transporting Students with Disabilities & Preschoolers National Conference in Nashville, Tenn. Lt. Robinson is the first law enforcement official to receive this award.
As head of the Pupil Transportation Division of the Highway Patrol, Lt. Robinson also serves as Tennessee’s chief safety inspector for school buses. Many people refer to him as a de-facto state director for pupil transportation because of his dedication to safe school buses and myriad responsibilities.
Max Christensen, president of NASDPTS, presented the award (pictured above) on behalf of ASBC before a packed room at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.
“Lt. Robinson has earned a reputation as a stickler for safety, valuing a thorough inspection process, and doing all he can to ensure that every Tennessee school bus is in tip-top shape from a safety perspective,” said Christensen, who is Iowa state director for student transportation.
Lt. Robinson expressed his gratitude to the school bus community for the award.
“To someone who works a lot with oil and grease, there is no bigger honor than to be recognized by your peers,” he said.
He also discussed the huge responsibility he feels to keep schoolchildren safe on the yellow bus each and every day.
“It’s easy to stand up in front of a group in a state trooper uniform and say a few words. It’s much more important to go out and to make a difference in the lives of our children and our school systems,” he added.
The School Bus Champion Award recognizes recipients who stand out in the industry for advocacy and leadership in the areas of safety, access to education, environmental benefits/stewardship and community impact.
In his position, Lt. Robinson has earned kudos for both safety and community impact.
Past recipients are:
- Heroic bus driver Charles Poland, Jr. (slain in 2013)
- Respected school bus contractor executive Dale Krapf
- Randy Dorn, Washington state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction
- Ken Kanikeberg, Mr. Dorn’s Chief of Staff.
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- The State of Utah