Steve Huillet, a past member of the NASDPTS executive board, is set to retire from the Oregon Department of Education, School Transportation News has learned.
No successor at the Oregon Department of Education has been named, but Huillet said he was hopeful a decision would be made before Christmas. Huillet turned in his letter of resignation prior to Thanksgiving. His last day at work is Dec. 27, while his official retirement takes effect on Jan. 1. At that time, he will join NASDPTS as director of administrative services.
Huillet is a former West regional director for NASDPTS, a post he held from 2010 until the conclusion of the organization's annual conference in Memphis, Tenn., last month. On the NASDPTS board, he also served as a co-chair of the STN EXPO Conference & Trade Show. He also served as an Oregon delegate at the 2005 National Congress on School Transportation (NCST) and as a director at the 2010 industry event. Huillett continues to serve on the school bus specifications writing committee for the 2015 NCST.
He joined the Department of Education's Pupil Transportation Section in March 2003 as a program analyst and was promoted to state director of pupil transportation and fingerprinting in January 2009, replacing Deb Lincoln, who was promoted within the agency. During his time in the state capital, he helped write a new school bus maintenance and inspection manual for technicians to use for completing annual inspections. Huillet also developed a testing program for technicians to become ODE certified to complete the annual inspection and to work on school buses.
"Every technician in Oregon must now be certified to work on and complete the annual inspections," he added.
Huillet joined the industry in February 1986 as a school bus mechanic and school bus driver for Central School District located in Independence, Ore. He accepted a supervisors position with Sisters School District in March 1998. That same year, Huillet said he received his behind-the-wheel training and DMV third-party tester certificates from the Oregon Department of Education. While at Sisters School District, Huillet also taught two automotive classes each day to 25 high school students. In the second year of this program, the class received grant funding to buy a 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle, and the students performed complete frame-off restoration.
"When it was finished, we took it to all the car shows in Central Oregon and sold raffle tickets," Huillet recalled. "At the end of summer, we had a drawing and a local couple won the Chevelle. The class made $12,500 by selling the tickets to help fund the automotive programs future."