Workshop Details & Daily Agenda

As of 7/8/19. Subject to change. Click each date, below, to expand the listings.

Saturday, July 27

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

NHTSA Child Passenger Safety on School Buses Training

Instructors: Kathy Annekin, Denise Donaldson, David Murphy, Sue Shutrump, Eric Smith & Charlie Vits

Description: This eight-hour training seminar that is approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teaches the proper securement of pre-school aged children in appropriate child safety restraint systems (CSRS) on school bus seats. It provides the basic rules of proper CSRS use in school buses. It also illustrates the most common mistakes that are made when installing the safety equipment. Safe Kids Worldwide has approved 5.5 continuing education units (CEUs) for all registered attendees who complete the course work.

*This program requires separate registration and fees. (Maximum of 50 participants.)


National School Bus Inspection Training Program

Instructors: Marshall Casey, Joe Scesny & Bobby Williams

Description: STN EXPO launches a program that was developed by school bus maintenance and inspection expert Marshall Casey, to fully train technicians on how to conduct regular vehicle inspections, above and beyond state and federal Department of Transportation guidance. Learn how to discover more defects prior to failure, which allows for expedited repairs, increased vehicle uptime and a more efficient maintenance program. The program includes eight hours of classroom instruction and a written exam.

*This program requires separate registration and fees. (Maximum of 50 participants.)


Noon – 5 p.m.

So, You Want to Be a Transportation Supervisor?

Presenters: Chris Ellison, Pamela McDonald, Tim Purvis & Alexandra Robinson

Description: A panel of student transportation experts provides best practices for attendees who wish to transition into a supervisory role, or who are looking to brush up on skill sets. Topics include: How to provide the best customer service while managing parent and administration expectations; creating, building and molding teams; communication strategies to increase driver and attendant retention and productivity; principles of proper routing and planning; and managing and tracking data to improve your organization.

1 – 5 p.m.

Taking the Whole Route: Addressing Behaviors on the Bus without Missing a Stop

Presenter: Patrick Mulick

Description: The best behavioral intervention one can use is preventing an incident before it happens. But doing so often requires an understanding of what causes it. In this highly engaging four-hour course, board-certified behavior analyst Patrick Mulick will provide a full, in-depth, and research-based look at how to support positive behaviors on the bus for all riders. Attendees will learn what causes some behavior, how to prevent it, and how to react appropriately. Mulick will discuss how this process applies to students with and without disabilities, as well as students who have the potential to fully escalate. This one-of-a-kind course will equip and empower you with the interventions and inspiration that are needed to be successful.

Sunday, July 28

8 – 8:30 a.m.

Opening General Session – Orientation


8:30 – 8:45 a.m.

Peter J. Grandolfo Memorial Award of Excellence

Sponsored by Q’STRAINT/Sure-Lok

8:45 – 10:15 a.m.


Disruptive Innovation in Student Transportation

Presenter: Jim Harris

Description:  Powerful forces are shaping the $10 trillion global transportation market, and the school bus market is feeling the pressure. Yet, it is an exciting time. From automated vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems, to 5G wireless and the internet of things, this dynamic and interactive session—led by one of North America’s leading voices on change and leadership—will explore how different trends may affect the student transportation industry.

10:45 – Noon

Reducing School Bus Fires Through Proper Inspection & Maintenance

Track:  Maintenance & Technology

Presenter: Joe Scesny

Description: Thermal events onboard school buses are making the news on nearly 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.

Autism: What It Means to Us, What It Means to Them

Track: Management & Operations

Presenter: Patrick Mulick

Description: 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 learn how to best support them and provide service.

Implementing Procedures for Lap-and-Shoulder Seat Belts in School Buses

Track: Safety & Security

Moderator: Diana Hollander

Panelists: Tom Cohn & Kayne Smith

Description: As more school districts add three-point seat belts, whether voluntarily or in response to a mandate, the success of the occupant restraints hinges on policies that have been developed at the state and local level. These are necessary to provide training to students on buckling up, enforcing usage, evacuating the bus in an emergency, driver indemnity and more. Hear from student transporters as they discuss their experiences with the seat belts over several school years. The moderator is the state director of student transportation for Nevada, which sees its law go into effect this summer.

Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Lunch on Your Own

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

School Bus Technician Shortages

Track: Maintenance & Technology

Facilitator: Walt Commans

Panelists: Eric Smith, Joel Stutheit & Bobby Williams

Description: Fleet managers discuss the difficulties of finding qualified candidates in a competitive job market, and what they offer to keep the technicians on staff after they are hired.

Enhancing Communication on the School Bus & in the Transportation Department

Track: Management & Operations

Presenters: Ryan Hahn & Michael Shields

Description: The key to improving morale is open lines of communication throughout the organization. Two directors of transportation share their perspectives on the importance of transparency with the department, and with student riders, their parents and others.

Creating Safer School Bus Stops Panel

Track: Safety & Security

Moderator: Charlie Hood

Panelists: Jeremy Gunderson, Launi Harden, Alexandra Robinson & Daniel Sperry

Description: Student transportation experts discuss the dangers to pedestrian safety at school bus stops and steps school districts can make. Issues include illegal passing, stop selection, student crossing, driver training and soliciting public support for safety.

3 – 4:15 p.m.

Implementing School Bus Technology

Track: Maintenance & Technology

Presenter: Josh Rice

Description: This workshop will discuss the methodology of adding technology into operations. It will be a 30,000-foot overview of Wi-Fi, tablets, student tracking and other on-board school bus technologies. Learn how to make purchasing decisions, implement pilot programs, create training modules and more. The audience will discuss specific items to look for in the various areas.

CBD Oil & School Bus Drivers Don’t Mix

Track: Management & Operations

Presenter: Gene’ Henderson

Description: Despite an increasing number of states approving marijuana and its derivatives for medical purposes, federal regulations continue to prohibit use by commercial drivers. Learn from an expert in drug and alcohol testing about the mis-information on CBD and driving the school bus, as well as training and oversight that are needed at school districts and bus companies.

New to Wheelchair Transportation? Know the Basics

Track: Safety & Security

Presenter: Sue Shutrump

Description: Attendees will be provided with the proverbial 30,000-foot view of what their staff need to learn when transporting students who use wheelchairs. Basic safety principles as well as the crash-tests and research behind why they work will be the focus. Learn what WC18, WC19 and WC20 mean and how to safely evacuate, as well as obtain valuable resources and contacts to support a safe ride for passengers in wheelchairs.

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Selecting and Using Air Conditioning Maintenance Programs

Track: Maintenance & Technology

Presenter: Joel Mooneyham


This presentation will describe the different designs of school bus air conditioning systems, the requirements required by states, the preventative maintenance schedules needed to keep the air conditioning systems properly functioning, how to track expenses, and what technician’s certifications are/should be required to repair air conditioning systems on a school bus.


Bedtime, Bell-Times & Busing

Track: Management & Operations

Facilitator: Michael Shields

Panelists: Robert Leach & Amy Scopac

Description: Thinking about changing bell-times, so high school students can get more sleep? Think again. Learn from school district routing experiences in Colorado and Texas and how bell times were affected. The session will discuss, brainstorm and consider the implications of late bell-time changes for transportation departments.

Crash Reporting 101

Track: Safety & Security

Presenters: Denny Coughlin & Freddie Yazzie

Description: Review strategies for responding to a school bus crash, especially when they occur in rural areas and emergency vehicle response time is delayed. 

7 p.m.

Welcome Party

Sponsored by IMMI/SafeGuard & Tyler Technologies

Monday, July 29

8 – 9:30 a.m.


How Much Integrity Do Your School Bus Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness Approaches Have?

Presenter: Michael Dorn

Description:  This dynamic and thought-provoking session will include practical, powerful, no-cost and low-cost approaches that can be used to help school transportation officials more accurately evaluate their prevention and preparedness approaches. This presentation will address catastrophic, highly publicized, but rare events, as well as those that result in more than 98 percent of K-12 fatalities that do not involve active assailant events. The session is based on research for his upcoming 600-page university textbook, Understanding and Protecting People from Active Assailant, Hate Crimes and Terrorist Attacks. That research also includes his previous 27 books, his experience providing post-incident assistance for 15 K-12 planned school shootings, as well as several hundred of the more typical campus crisis incidents over his 36-year career. Dorn will review the common opportunities for improvement that have been observed by Safe Havens analysts during more than 6,800 school safety, security, climate, culture, and emergency preparedness assessments.


10 – 11:15 a.m.

Unlocking the Value of On-Bus Technologies Panel

Track:  Maintenance & Technology

Facilitator: GP Singh
Panelists: Tim Purvis, Michael Shields & Tim Shannon

Description: Does your district use GPS devices on your buses? Are you wondering about how to show benefits for the many new devices that are being added on buses every day? Are you overwhelmed with all of the data and use of different systems? If so, this is the session you need to attend. It will showcase how you can improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of your operation, while also reducing your costs by effectively using these technologies.


The Impacts of Charter Schools and School Choice on Student Transportation

Track: Management & Operations

Moderator: Betheny Gross
Panelists: Launi Harden, Nicole Portee & Alexandra Robinson

Description: Charter schools, school choice and magnet schools affect school bus operations in large cities and small rural school districts, alike. School choice without transportation options is not a choice. A leading researcher from the Center on Reinventing Public Education facilitates a panel discussion with student transporters to review the challenges of providing school bus transportation.


Student Dragging Incidents

Track: Safety & Security

Presenter: Betty Hughes

Description: Learn strategies to prevent school bus drivers from closing the loading doors on students as they exit, then dragging them as the vehicle pulls away. This session is based on a paper the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute published in February 2015, in response to children being killed or injured.


11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Challenges with Tire Maintenance

Track: Maintenance & Technology

Presenter: Joel Mooneyham

Description: This presentation will cover the need for a quality and efficient tire maintenance program and the challenges associated with a tire maintenance program. Topics will cover data mining, technician training and management, different aspects of tire management, tire demonstration projects, retreads, and purchasing aspects.


Linking Getting to School with Going to School

Track: Management & Operations

Presenter: Christopher Salem Ozuna

Description: Research performed by the University of California at Santa Barbara’s Gervitz Graduate School of Education indicates that a lack of school busing for kindergarten students can lead to chronic absenteeism, a fifth indicator of student success under ESSA, later in the academic career. The issue is especially perilous for students who live in rural communities. Research is expanding to draw correlations between school bus rides and school attendance patterns for students with disabilities.


Busing on the Lookout

Track: Safety & Security

Presenter: Louis Greek

Description: 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.


12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Lunch on Your Own


2 – 3:15 p.m.

Electrifying the School Bus

Sponsored by Southern California Edison

Track: Maintenance & Technology

Facilitator: Tim Shannon
Panelists: Kuba Szczypiorski (Blue Bird), Sudha Veerapaneni (IC Bus), Nate Bagiou (Lion Electric Company) & Mark Childers (Thomas Built Buses)

Description: Join a discussion with the manufacturers of large, all-electric school buses that are already on the market or are in development. Learn how the technology is evolving, and what to expect about the predicted range, charging, operation and maintenance. The panel is moderated by the alternative fuel writing committee chair for the 2020 National Congress on School Transportation, who also currently operates the largest fleet of electric school buses in the nation.


Addressing the School Bus Driver Shortage

Track: Management & Operations

Facilitator: Ryan Hahn
Panelists: Chris Ellison, Pam McDonald, Robert Leach & Nicole Portee

Description: A panel of transportation directors share the impact that is made by a lack of drivers, plus the strategies directors have employed to increase retention and recruiting efforts.


School Bus Security Needs, Challenges and Perspectives

Track: Safety & Security

Facilitator: Mike Dorn
Panelists: Russ Newbold, Daniel Sperry, Josh Rice

Description: A panel of student transportation and law enforcement experts share common concerns from management and front-line employees about training needs in light of today’s security challenges in and around the bus. Those challenges range from the angry parent berating the school bus driver, to an active shooter crisis.


3:30 – 5 p.m.

Making Decisions on Implementing Alternative Fuel & Power

Track: Maintenance & Technology

Facilitators: John Gonzales & Sandra Loi
Panelists: Jeff Clark, Stephen Russell &, Joel Stutheit

Description: This session begins with an introduction by Sandra Loi of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on the various funding and research resources that are available to school districts when they have to make decisions on adopting alternative fuel or electric power. Her associate, John Gonzales, follows by moderating a grassroots discussion about the real-world operational characteristics of CNG, propane and electric.


Understanding & Embracing a Multi-Generational Workforce

Track: Management & Operations

Presenters: Amy Scopac & Kayne Smith

Description: As each generation has different expectations, the multi-generational workforce presents a critical challenge for transportation managers. To keep good employees, you must meet their needs and expectations, while understanding what keeps them inspired. Employees’ needs and expectations vary from one person to the next, and one generation to the next. For transportation managers, an understanding of the multi-generational working behaviors is necessary, in order to handle conflicts, and create an efficient and inclusive workplace. This presentation will address some of the key challenges, which include age, values and communication. The presenters will provide ideas on being effective when dealing with different backgrounds, cultures, expectations and work styles in the modern work place.


Evacuating School Buses in the Case of Fire

Track: Safety & Security

Presenters: Denny Coughlin & Freddie Yazzie

Description: A classroom presentation sets the scene for an outside exercise that fills a school bus with smoke. The vehicle is equipped with lap-and-shoulder seat belts to illustrate the need for clear policies and training on evacuating students, especially in the event of a fire, when the vehicle can become engulfed in flames in a matter of only a few minutes.


6 – 8:30 p.m.

Trade Show Extravaganza

Tuesday, July 30

U.S. Keynote Address

9 – 10:30 a.m.

The Complacency Conundrum: Why Organizations Fail to Prevent Tragedies

Presenter: R. Leslie Nichols

Description: As individual adults, we have survival instincts that help us to keep from becoming victims. This is sometimes called our “gift of fear.” Yet, when we function as part of an organization, it is natural to override those instincts to fit in and comply with organizational priorities and norms. As a result, organizations—which are nothing more than people—often fail to recognize and respond to a threat in the making. They act far too late. This is especially troubling when the organization fails to protect the children that it is designed to serve. But perhaps the problem is the way our organizations understand safety, security and protection, focusing on the “business” of safety (what people are made to do) and overlooking the “culture” of safety (what people are inspired to do). In this session, consultant and author, Les Nichols, will show us how everyone in the organization—regardless of their role—can be a key part of transforming your organization into a true culture of safety.


10:45 a.m. – Noon

Modernizing the School Bus Garage

Track: Maintenance & Technology

Facilitator: Joe Scesny

Panelists: George Davis, Ryan Hahn, Eric Smith & Bobby Williams

Description: 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.

MAP 21: Understanding the New Federal Entry-Level Driver Training Rule

Track: Management & Operations

Presenter: Betty Hughes

Description: Learn how to prepare for new mandates on entry-level driver training requirements, training provider registry and safety management system that go into effect on Feb. 7, 2020.


Emergency Lockdowns for the School Bus

Track: Safety & Security

Presenter: Daniel Sperry

Description:  What should a bus driver do if there is a dangerous person or active shooter near their bus? What should you do if someone is trying to get on your bus? Lockdowns are not limited to the classroom or just the responsibility of a teacher. School buses have unique needs and abilities when it comes to student protection. This class will discuss current safety and security practices as suggested by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and various other school safety experts. Attendees will learn techniques to keep themselves and the students they are responsible for safe in a time of crisis. 

12:30 p.m.

Pre-Trade Show Lunch Served

12:30 – 5 p.m.

STN EXPO Trade Show

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Happy Hour Networking Reception

Wednesday, July 31

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