||Peter Grandolfo was a long-time champion of the yellow school bus and the safe transportation to and from school for all students, especially those with special needs. He passed away suddenly in January 2006, but his legacy will never be forgotten.
The former transportation director at Chicago Public Schools and NAPT board member is remembered each summer in Reno, Nev., during the STN EXPO Conference with the Peter J. Grandolfo Memorial Award of Excellence that goes to a pupil transporter who displays exemplary service on behalf of child safety.
Last year's recipient was Cheryl Wolf, a retired special needs transportation specialist from Lafayette, Ind. Randy McLerran, Oklahoma’s retired state director of pupil transportation, received the inaugural Peter J. Grandolfo Award in 2007. Jack Welsh, a founding member of the Montana Association for Pupil Transportation, took home the award in 2008. Charlie Hood, NASDPTS past-president and the state school transportation director at the Florida Department of Education won in 2009. Carolyn Oakes of Minneapolis Public Schools was the 2010 recipient.
The recipient should embody the characteristics of Grandolfo, a “Renaissance Man” who cared first and foremost about children, managed fleets of vehicles no matter the challenges thrown his way, drove a school bus, and won the hearts of children and adults alike. He was a man of character and integrity, ahead of his time, given to projecting a vision of the future, a lifelong learner, thoughtful in his replies, receptive to new ideas, not afraid to stand up for what he believed in, an outstanding humanitarian, a mentor to anyone he met, always willing to help, and above all, a quintessential professional transporter.
The deadline for all submissions is June 22, 2012.
Questions can be directed to STN Editor in Chief Ryan Gray.