School Transportation News selected two grand-prize winners from a drawing conducted last week during the NAPT Summit Trade Show in Grand Rapids, Mich., for all-expenses-paid trips to the TSD Conference and STN EXPO, respectively.
Heading to Nashville, Tenn., and the TSD Conference Feb. 28-March 5 is Kathleen Callon (above), transportation director at East Irondequoit CSD in Rochester, N.Y. Her name was drawn randomly after NAPT attendees played "Spin to Win" entries. Winning the EXPO grand prize was Shirley Downs (below), who retired 10 years ago as a bus driver for Columbus (Ohio) City Schools.
Both receive roundtrip airfare, hotel nights and full conference registration.
Callon is in her 16th year at East Irondequoit, the first 11 spent as a district liaison with a school bus contrator company. Then, five years ago, Callon oversaw the transfer of services back to the district. She also oversees private and parochial transportation services for neighboring districts East Rochester CSD and West Irondequoit private an parochial.
Last July, Callon presented at the New York Association for Pupil Transportation on transitioning services from contractors to the district as well as how to service a neighboring district. She started in the industy 20 years ago at another Brighton School District as assistant to the transportation director and an employee benefits specialist. While there, her supervisor at encouraged her to further career by obtain her CDL and attending conferences and programs put on by the local BOCES.
She started attending the NYAPT conference and now is president of the Rochester Area Transportation Supervisors Asssociation, part of NYAPT. Three years ago she began attending the NAPT annual conference, and this past year she sent her head driver to TSD Conference.
Meanwhile, Downs said she is looking forward to seeing new technology and meeting new people in Reno, Nev., next July at the STN EXPO, July 26-30. Columbus added Zonar GPS in 2007, which Downs said helped the district improve compliance, make operations more efficient and better protect the driver and student. The district also tracks mileage, speed and pre-trip inspections and allows technicians to electronically record safety inspections.
She will be traveling with husband, Phil, retired last year as fleet manager at the same district. She said both want to remain active in the industry by helping districts improve safety and technology on board the bus as well as in the transportation office.