HomePeopleStudent Transportation Officials Inducted into NAPT Hall of Fame

Student Transportation Officials Inducted into NAPT Hall of Fame

During the National Association of Pupil Transportation annual conference, four individuals were inducted into the association’s Hall of Fame. The association was making up for lost time, as the inductions were the first since before COVID-19.

Following a call for nominations, each candidate is evaluated on the criteria of contributions, personal influence and longevity in the industry. A detailed application is provided for the committee members to review.

Former Indiana state director and NAPT president Pete Baxter was inducted into the NAPT Hall of Fame las month.

Pete Baxter

Baxter’s career in pupil transportation spans over 35 years and he continues to participate in the industry throughout retirement. Originally active at the local level, he became the state director for the Indiana Department of Education.

Throughout the years he’s served as president of both the NAPT and the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services. He’s also served as chairperson for the National Congress on School Transportation. “Pete was and is recognized as a proactive administrator creating multi-discipline safety committees at the local level, engaging with state legislatures to heighten awareness and the need for stronger legislation,” said Peter Lawrence, a senior consultant with the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute and a former NAPT board member, when inducting Baxter on Oct. 30.

Baxter addressed NAPT attendees and expressed gratitude for the recognition. He especially thanked and acknowledged industry veteran Dick Fischer as well as Patty Waites, the assistant director of transportation for Hamilton Southeastern Schools in Indiana.

Tim Ammon, the vice president and general manager of passenger services for Zonar, accepted the 2023 NAPT Hall of Fame award on Mike Martin’s behalf.

Michael Martin

Martin served as CEO and executive director of the NAPT for 26 years. He was also one of the founding members of the American School Bus Council. He currently serves as a senior advisor with Transportation Network Company HopSkipDrive.

Tim Ammon, the vice president and general manager of passenger services for Zonar accepted the award on Martin’s behalf.

Don Paull

Paull’s contribution to the industry started when he was attending high school and serving as a school bus driver. Following graduation, he attended the University of Texas and eventually began his career as a director of transportation. He was active in the Texas Association of Pupil Transportation, serving as president, and joined NAPT in 1977. He served as president and region director of the association.

Paull continues to serve on the NAPT Foundation as vice president and treasurer. He has contributed to the leadership of TAPT and NAPT for over 40 years.

He addressed attendees, thanking the NAPT board and committee members for this opportunity. He specifically thanked Ray Westmoreland and Ed Donn, both NAPT Hall of Fame members Paull said were his mentors. “These people saw something in me, that I didn’t see in myself,” he said, adding that they pushed him to do new things and really introduced him to the industry.

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Donald Tudor speaks to NAPT members after accepting his induction into the Class of 2023 Hall of Fame.

Donald Tudor

Steve Kalmes, the NAPT foundation president, said that he has had the privilege of working with Tudor over many years. Tudor serves as sectary vice president of the NAPT Foundation as well as president of his consultancy, Donald Tudor Services, LLC.

Tudor previously served as the director of transportation for South Carolina’s Department of Education for 20 years before retiring in 2011. He also served as the president and a board member of the South Carolina Association for Pupil Transportation, as well as secretary-treasurer and the director of Region 2 for NAPT. In 2015, he was the winner of the association’s Distinguished Service Award.

“His awards and accomplishments are substantial, and he represents an icon in the industry,” Kalmes said.

Tudor thanked industry veteran Bob Pape for encouraging him to become involved with the NAPT. “The idea that you are honoring me … me working for you has been the honor all these years,” he said.

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