Workshop Details

As of 5/30/19. Subject to change. Click each date, below, to expand the listings.

Find more information on Unique Experiences held Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8.


8 a.m.

STN EXPO Opening General Session & Welcome
Officially kick off the inaugural STN EXPO Indianapolis with an overview of the conference agenda and how the conference app can enhance your experience.

8:30 a.m.

Private School Bus Operator of the Year
Awarded by the American Bus Association
Learn more about the award and how to submit a nomination.

8:45 a.m.

Accelerate Your Achievements
Keynote Address by Ryan Avery
The youngest World Champion of Public Speaking in the history of Toastmaster’s International will provide attendees with his map to manifesting their biggest dreams.

10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Culture of the Bus Shop
Track: Maintenance & Technology
Presenter: Denny Coughlin
This industry is not only experiencing shortages behind the wheel, but also in the bus garages. The importance of communication, loyalty and employee engagement will be discussed, to ensure proper staffing of technicians and avoid vehicle reliability issues.

Addressing the Bus Driver Shortage
Track: Management & Operations
Facilitator: Matt Griswold
Panelist: Ryan Hahn & Joshua Hinerman
Join a panel discussion with student transportation leaders to uncover strategies to improve the recruitment and retention of school bus drivers.

Adopting Lap-Shoulder Seat Belts for School Buses
Track: Safety & Security
Facilitator: Derek Graham
Panelist: Tom Cohn & Bob Downin
Only four states currently mandate three-point seat belts, but an increasing number of school districts elsewhere are voluntarily implementing the occupant restraint systems. Student transporters with this experience share how and why they did it, and the lessons they learned as a result.

1 – 5 p.m.

Unique Experiences
Cummins Service Training School
Q’STRAINT/Sure-Lok Wheelchair Securement Training
(Separate registration is required for both events.)

1 – 2:15 p.m.

Modernizing the School Bus Garage
Track: Maintenance & Technology
Facilitator: Joe Scesny
Panelists: George Davis, Ryan Hahn & Bobby Williams
A panel of experts discusses what it takes to bring a transportation facility into the 21st century, so it can address the latest in vehicle maintenance and employee needs.

From Behind the Wheel to Behind the Desk (Part I)
Track: Management & Operations
Presenter: Jeff Vrabel, Sr.
Part I of a presentation discusses what it is like to be promoted from a school bus driver to the school transportation supervisor.

Child Pedestrians Crossing the Street & Implications for School Bus Stops
Track: Safety & Security
Presenter: Elizabeth O’Neal
The younger the child, the harder it is for them to cognitively gauge the flow of traffic, and how they cross the street to and from their school bus. Review scholarly research from the University of Iowa that provides insight that can affect where school districts place school bus stops. The session serves as a springboard into a panel discussion on increasing school bus stop safety, in light of recent tragic incidents.

2:30 – 3:45 p.m.

Technology Updates from Vendors
Track: Maintenance & Technology
Facilitator: Denny Coughlin
Panelists: Nate Long, Kim Rentner & Sean Slyman
Join a conversation with a cross-section of school bus technology experts as they discuss innovations in on-board technology that are available on today’s new vehicles and what is coming down the pike. Planned topics will include advanced driver assistance technologies, GPS, student tracking, engine diagnostics and more.

From Behind the Wheel to Behind the Desk (Part II)
Track: Management & Operations
Presenter: Jeff Vrabel, Sr.
Part II of a presentation discusses what it is like to be promoted from a school bus driver to the school transportation supervisor.

Creating Safer School Bus Stops
Track: Safety & Security
Facilitator: Derek Graham
Panelists: Dick Fischer, Trooper Randy McPike, Zach McKinney & Jana Vance
Child safety and student transportation experts discuss the dangers to pedestrian safety at school bus stops. Dangers include stop selection, student crossing of roads and highways, illegal passers, driver training, and soliciting public support for safety.

4 – 5:30 p.m.

Safe Fleet/Seon Illegal Passing & Bus Perimeter Safety Demonstration


8 a.m.

Behavioral Approaches for Active Shooter & Other Security Challenges on School Bus
Keynote Address by Chris Dorn
Renowned school safety expert and author Chris Dorn from Safe Havens International, discusses how to strengthen your “Survival Mindset.” Learn about stopping active shooters, bombings, and other acts of extreme violence in and around the school bus. Dorn will discuss approaches that analysis of real-life incidents show works, and what doesn’t.

10 – 11:15 a.m.

What the New Entry-Level Driver Training Final Rule Means to You
Track: Management & Operations
Presenter: Jeff Cassell
Learn how to prepare for new mandates on entry-level driver training, training provider registry and safety management systems that go into effect next year, on Feb. 7, 2020.

Making Decisions on Security Training
Track: Safety & Security
Facilitator: Chris Dorn
Panelists: Patti Waites, Darla Dicken & Josh Hinerman
Share common concerns from management and front-line employees about training needs in light of today’s security challenges in and around the bus. Concerns range from the angry parent berating the school bus driver, to an active shooter situation, plus other surprises.

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Unique Experience
Allison Transmission Experience (offsite, transportation provided; buses leave at 9:30 a.m.)
(Separate registration is required.)

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Carbon Footprint of School Buses
Track: Management & Operations
Presenter: Joseph Schwieterman , Ph.D.
A DePaul University professor shares calculations that school bus operators can use to determine their individual school bus emissions. See what they mean to the environment and how to share them with administrators to effect change.

Busing on the Lookout
Track: Safety & Security
Presenter: Annie Sovcik
There are an estimated 40 million victims of human trafficking globally, including thousands of school-age children in the U.S. Learn more about this serious crime and how to partner with Busing on the Lookout (BOTL). All pupil transportation managers and school bus drivers can be equipped with the information that is necessary to help fight human trafficking as part of their everyday jobs.

1 – 5 p.m.

Unique Experience
Cummins Service Training School
(Separate registration is required.)

2 – 3:15 p.m.

Selecting Maintenance Programs
Track: Maintenance & Technology
Presenter: Bobby Williams
Making the proper investment in purchasing the right fleet management software also requires thorough research. If you can’t get the information from a program that you need, you will have wasted not only a lot of money, but countless shop hours in training and inputting the data. Learn how you can select the correct program from the get-go.

Developing & Utilizing Bond Measures for Student Transportation
Track: Management & Operations
Presenter: Kayne Smith
As school bus capital and operational costs increase, district budgets and state reimbursement dollars continue to shrivel. A potential solution lies with local voters to help fund the level of service they expect and deserve.

Understanding FMVSS 111 Requirements
Track: Safety & Security
Presenter: Dick Fischer
Do you know what you need to see in each school bus mirror? Join a school bus safety expert and trainer to discuss proper mirror adjustment to meet federal requirements, and how vision systems now factor into the equation.

3:30 – 4:45 p.m.

Considering the Alternatives of Fuel Choice
Track: Maintenance & Technology
Facilitator: Denny Coughlin
Panelists: Christian Flores, Greg Haltom & Eric Smith
Diesel remains the leading fuel choice in the school bus market, but student transporters now have alternative options. School district fleet representatives will discuss their experiences with not only diesel, but also gasoline and propane. Discussions will also center on available grant funding and the emerging electric market.

Challenges for Young Students in Operating Emergency Bus Exits
Track: Management & Operations
Presenter: Yousif Abulhassan, Ph.D.
No standards exist on how fast a school bus needs to be evacuated, but we know that the vehicle can become fully engulfed by a fire in a matter of only a few minutes. A Murray State University professor discusses a recent study that was conducted with students in kindergarten through third grade, to establish baseline evacuation times and evaluate the effectiveness of school bus emergency exits. The purpose of this study was to evaluate children’s capabilities to understand roof hatch instructions, operate a roof hatch and evacuate through emergency exits. 

Reducing School Bus Fires Through Proper Maintenance & Inspections
Track: Safety & Security
Presenters: Joe Scesny & Marshall Casey
Thermal events on-board school buses seem to be making the news on a daily basis. Join a school bus inspection expert to discuss how proper engine and brake maintenance can avoid fires from starting in the first place. Discover how to stay out of the headlines and keep your students out of harm’s way.

5 – 6:30 p.m.

Fogmaker Live School Bus Fire Suppression Demonstration


8 a.m.

The TRUST Edge
Keynote Address by David Horsager
Trust is a fundamental, bottom line issue. The national best-selling author and CEO of the Trust Edge Leadership Institute discusses the importance of trust to people and organization, which can lead to greater creativity, productivity, freedom and results.

10 a.m.

Meritor Brake Training Seminar
Track: Maintenance & Technology
(Two-hour session. Separate registration is required.)

Filter for Behavior Change on the School Bus
Track: General Session
Presenter: Patrick Mulick
Get ready to engage with behavior! Behavior specialist Patrick Mulick pops the hood and examines the filter all professionals should have when accounting for behavioral challenges on the school bus. This engaging presentation bridges the gap between behavioral science, and what can be realistically and effectively implemented by transportation staff. With best practice strategies, the first and last step in every student’s day can be a positive one.

11:15 a.m.

Autism: What It Means to Us, What It Means to Them
Track: General Session
Presenter: Patrick Mulick
Driving the school bus requires sensitivity training, especially when transporting students who have autism. Discover how these children see and hear the world, the school bus and others, to gain insight into how to best support them and provide service.

1 p.m.

STN EXPO Trade Show + Victory Lane Celebration
Indianapolis Convention Center, Exhibit Hall A


8 a.m.

STN EXPO Closing General Session:
Coffee’s On Us, Tips Are Appreciated
Join conference staff in a focus group setting to debrief from the prior five days, provide feedback, and discuss takeaways that will help improve both the STN EXPO and your operations at home.

9 a.m.

STN EXPO Concludes