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Oregon Conference Welcomes Attendees Back In-Person

After a year and a half of canceled in-person events, state pupil transportation association conferences are ramping up this summer, including the Oregon Pupil Transportation Association (OPTA) conference held last month.

The OPTA Summer Conference was held June 28-30 and consisted of four keynote speakers. Max Christensen, the state director of pupil transportation in Iowa, and Sheryl Harley, a senior survival factors investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, discussed what happens during a major school bus crash investigation. Other keynote speakers included author Karen Main as well as writer and comedian Jan Mclnnis.

During the event, board members awarded the 2020 and 2021 awards, as last year’s event was not held due to the coronavirus pandemic.

2020:

  • Golden Wrench Mechanic/Technician Award: Mark McGahan, Klamath Falls City Schools
  • School Bus Driver of the Year: Eddie Dixon, Salem-Keizer Public Schools
  • Transportation Supervisor of the Year: Mitchell Hamilton, Salem-Keizer Public Schools
  • School Bus Driver Trainer of the Year: Laura Salsky, North Clackamas School District
  • Buck Klemm Special Needs Transportation Award: Colleen Light, Tigard-Tualatin School District
  • Ron Bryan President’s Award: Michael Shields, Salem-Keizer Public Schools
  • Ron Bryan President’s Award: Randy Schetky, Schetky Bus & Van Sales
  • Administrative Support Award: Jennifer Carmichael, North Clackamas School District
  • Oregon Department of Education “Big Wheel Award”: Janice Briggs, Oregon Department of Education

2021:

    • Golden Wrench Mechanic/Technician Award: Bob Dulmage, North Clackamas School District
    • School Bus Driver of the Year: George Johnson, Sherwood School District
    • Randy Schetky Transportation Supervisor of the Year: Cindy Kirby, Warrenton-Hammond School District
    • School Bus Driver Trainer of the Year: Brian Clark, Salem-Keizer Public Schools
    • Buck Klemm Special Needs Transportation Award: Eric Stein, Sherwood School District
    • Ron Bryan President’s Award: Kathy Calkins, North Clackamas School District
    • Administrative Support Award: Carmela Thomas, Sherwood School District
    • Oregon Department of Education “Big Wheel Award”: Tim Iba, Oregon Child Development Coalition

Also, during the conference, OPTA President Chris Ellison honored Eric Pearson, a territory manager for BraunAbility, and Randy Schetky, president of Schetky NW Bus Sales, as both died unexpectedly in the past year.


Related: Randy Schetky Remembered for Evolving Family Legacy at Pacific Northwest Dealer
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Related: Oregon Superintendent Links School Bus Transportation to Eliminating Academic Barriers
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Schetky’s sons Dave and Chase accepted the 2020 Ron Bryan President’s Award on behalf of the family. The OPTA Board of Directors also renamed the 2021 Transportation Supervisor of the Year award to the Randy Schetky Transportation Supervisor of the Year Award in his honor.

Chris Ellison honors Eric Pearson, a territory manager for BraunAbility, and Randy Schetky, president of Schetky NW Bus Sales as both died this past year, during the Oregon Pupil Transportation Association Conference 2021.

In addition, Ellison swore in the new OPTA state president, Sandi Miller from Sherwood School District near Portland.

“We had a very successful conference and trade show, given the continued impacts with COVID-19,” Ellison said.

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