Top Transportation Teams Announced

Schenectady, NY – June 26, 2024 – Six school districts from across North America have won the second-annual Top Transportation Teams award, including one school district that took home the prize last year. In addition, a bus contractor has received the first Honorable Mention. 

Winners are located in five states, literally from coast to coast. 

Like last year, the winners have been divided into two categories, teams with 100 or more members and teams with fewer than 100 members.  

Winners in the 100-plus category are: Franklin Township Community School Corp., in Indiana, the lone repeat winner from last year, the program’s first year; Central Kitsap School District, in Washington, and The School District of Haverford Township, in Pennsylvania.

Winners in the under 100 category are: East Peoria Elementary School District 86 in IllinoisWa-Nee Community School Corp., in Indiana; and Waterloo Central School District in New York.  

The first Honorable Mention to be given is also the first bus contractor to be recognized since the award’s inception last year: Palmer Bus Service, based in Minnesota

More companies enrolled in the Top Transportation Teams, now in its second year, and the number of survey responses per team was also up nearly three times compared with the previous year. The number of enrollees with more than 100 staff members tripled from last year as well.

“The Top Transportation Teams awards program has truly become a much sought after award now,” said Antonio Civitellapresident and CEO of Transfinder, the industry’s leading transportation logistics software and hardware company which oversees the program. “We heard so many stories about districts being celebrated by their local communities as well as by state transportation associations. Districts used the award to recruit new team members and build strong relationships within their department. Not surprisingly, the competition was even tougher this year. We were pleased to see such great involvement from the teams. The feedback each participant received will help them get even better than they already are.” 

Winners were determined solely by anonymous survey results. Team members answered questions related to their department, such as leadership, career development, resources and incentives.  

Each winner receives one free scholarship to the STN EXPO WEST in Reno, Nev. courtesy of School Transportation News. In addition, Transfinder is covering travel and hotel costs for the leader of each winning team. While at STN EXPO WEST, leaders from each of the winning teams will participate in a panel discussion on what it takes to build a Top Transportation Team. 

“The team at School Transportation News is excited for the opportunity to recognize outstanding teams in the school transportation industry at STN EXPO WEST this summer in Reno, Nev. The Top Transportation Teams Awards and panel discussion was the most attended session last year, which shows the value and importance of these awards have to our attendees,” said Tony Corpin Publisher & President of School Transportation News. “High-performance cultures foster a sense of ownership, accountability and a relentless pursuit of excellence. The foundation of every great team is the direction that energizes, orients and engages. I applaud Antonio Civitella and the Transfinder team for their commitment to leadership and the passion to drive our industry forward.”  

The program was launched last year by Transfinder Corp., the leader in school transportation logistics and hardware. Top Transportation Teams is designed to provide recognition to unsung heroes in the school transportation industry and provide tools for districts to improve their operations by learning from others. 

Here’s what the winners had to say: 

100-plus category: 

  • Todd Livesaytransportation directorFranklin Township Community School Corp.:“Winning the Top Transportation Team award for the second year in a row is a testament to our team’s unwavering dedication, consistency, and hard work. We are immensely proud of this achievement, which reflects our mental toughness and steadfast commitment to putting students first in everything we do. This recognition fuels our appreciation for each team member’s relentless efforts and motivates us to continue delivering exceptional service. We could not be more appreciative of the recognition!” 
  • Kyle Johnsonlogistics and operations director, Central Kitsap School District:
    “Central Kitsap School District is thrilled to be named a Top Transportation Team for 2024. We know that by prioritizing our culture of authenticity, trust, and ownership, we are able to best serve our students. It is our people that make us great, and we are proud to receive this recognition of their efforts!”
  • Kevin DiPoalo, transportation directorThe School District of Haverford Township
    “I think the quote that best sums up this honor is based on the amount of teamwork this truly takes. ‘It’s not me, it’s we.’ Without our dedicated 100+ bus drivers, bus assistants, garage mechanics, route coordinator, executive assistant, dispatcher, none of this is possible. I am a small piece to help this locomotive run and help our department be the best we can be. ‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.’ That could not be any truer for our department here at Haverford. For years my predecessor used another routing software and it wasn’t very user friendly or route efficient software. We made the switch after 25 years and we couldn’t be happier. The leap of faith we took could not have been any more welcoming by Transfinder and the staff who worked with us diligently and trained us throughout the last few years.”

Under 100 category: 

  • Sherry Sarver, transportation dispatcher at East Peoria Elementary School District 86:
    “This means so much to me and our team. We have worked very hard the past two years to make this a better place for all. I love that we can share this with our community and they know that the team that transports their children every day truly care and love the job we do.”
  • Amy Rosa, transportation directorWa-Nee Community Schools
    “The Wa-Nee Transportation Team is honored to be selected as one of this year’s Top Transportation Team award winners. Here at Wa-Nee we know education is important for our youth. We count it a privilege to be a part of their lives and look forward to every school day’s opportunity to make a difference.”  
  • D’Allah Laffoontransportation supervisorWaterloo Central School District: “Our transportation staff at Waterloo Central School District is honored to be recognized as a Top Transportation Team. This award is a reflection on how well our drivers, monitors, mechanics and office staff work together to safely transport students to and from school as well as athletic events and school-related activities. The team has consistently worked well together and in recent years has become more cohesive with a supportive work culture. The survey, based on staff opinions and viewpoints, demonstrates that our employees value each other. Winning this award reassures our team’s dedication and commitment to each other and our community.” 

Honorable mention 

  • Trace Johnsondirector of student routing and technologiesPalmer Bus Service:
    “Palmer Bus Service thanks Transfinder for recognizing the hard work and dedication our transportation team does daily to safely transport our students. We are proud of the partnership and relationship with the Transfinder team. Thank you for all you do to help us be successful.”