NAPT Hall of Fame

School Transportation Icons Receive Industry's Highest Honor

Induction into the NAPT Hall of Fame represents the highest honor that NAPT can bestow on an individual. Honorees must meet the highest standards of personal and professional integrity, including distinguished service to both the industry and the Association. Here are profiles of our Hall of Fame members:

PAUL T. STEWART, who retired in 1978 as the West Virginia State Director of Pupil Transportation, began his career as a bus operator in Monongalia County, West Virginia in 1941 and held a variety of high-level posts during the course of his 40 year career. Among his many accomplishments, Stewart pioneered the use of diesel powered school buses in the early 1950's. He also created local, state and regional driver training programs and school bus inspection programs that formed the basis for many of the systems currently in use today. Stewart was a President of NAPT in 1977-78, served as Chair of the Southeastern States School Transportation Conference and has participated in 9 editions of the National Congress on School Transportation.
C. MORRIS ADAMS begain his 40 year career when he started his own company - Adams Bus Lines - in 1950 in Starkville, Mississippi. He worked for 30 years at Thomas Built Buses in High Point, North Carolina where he held a variety of positions culminating his career as the company's Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Affairs. Adams was - and still is - an ardent advocate of safe, efficient and reliable school bus transportation and is probably most often remembered for his energy and effort spent educating people about the pros and cons of seat belts on school buses.
ROBERT A. LARSON, more often referred to as "School Bus Bob," was one of the founding members of NAPT and served as the Association's first President. He was a charter member of the Minnesota Association for Pupil Transportation (MAPT) and worked as the Director of Transportation for the Robbinsdale (MN) School District #281 for 15 years. Among his many accomplishments, Larson developed one of the nation's first school district census programs (a forerunner to computerized routing). He was also a prolific writer, expounding on a number of topics, including a ground breaking article about evaluating your own school transportation services. Larson was selected "Administrator of the Year" by School Bus Fleet magazine in 1975.
RAY L. WESTMORELAND served thirty-three years with the Houston Independent School District and retired in the fall of 1990 as an Assistant Superintendent for Transportation. He is one of the founding members of the Texas Association for Pupil Transportation and NAPT, serving as President for both Associations. Mr. Westmoreland was a member at large of the National Safety Council, Transportation Executive Committee; a Texas State Delegate at the Ninth & Tenth National Congress of School Transportation; and chairman of numerous school transportation evaluation studies that were the forerunner of data analytics. Ray was the recipient of the Texas Association for Pupil Transportation and NAPT distinguished service awards and inducted in the NAPT Hall of Fame in 1998.
EDWARD J. BOBIT was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bobit Publishing, a company that publishes more than a dozen titles, including School Bus Fleet magazine. Ed was a tremendous advocate of NAPT since its start. In 1977, he served as NAPT's Executive Director, guiding the association through "growing pains". Ed volunteered his time and used his experience and business acumen to help NAPT meet its leadership and financial challenges. Today, through School Bus Fleet, the Bobit family continues to support the association and the industry by consistently providing practical and timely information about safe and efficient school bus transportation.
REWEL ALONZO BYNUM, or "Buster" as his family, friends and professional associates throughout the pupil transportation industry know him, has been involved with school transportation since 1956. Bynum began his career as the first full-time Supervisor of Pupil Transportation in Mecklenburg County, VA. Buster worked in Mecklenburg County for seven years before he joined the Virginia Department of Education on August 1, 1962 as Pupil Transportation Assistant Supervisor. Mr. Bynum was appointed Program Manager (state director) of Pupil Transportation in 1972 and served in that capacity until he retired nearly 20 years later in September 1991. Mr. Bynum was instrumental in securing funding and political support for the infant NAPT. After the Rural Education Division of the National Education Association (NEA) decided to forego assistance for the Association, Buster encouraged a variety of sponsors, including the State Directors Association, to join forces and move forward with a plan to strengthen the industry and its various constituencies. 
CARLISLE BEASLEY spent nearly 40 years actively working in pupil transportation. He has always been, and continues to be, ready willing and able to seek a better and safer way to transport students and improve the design and construction of school buses. He has always been, and continues to be, resolute - even uncompromising when necessary - when he's attempting to achieve lofty goals for the pupil transportation community. Because of his "Student First" attitude and an amazing dedication to driver training and rider education, Beasley's Nashville Metro schools went over three DECADES - 33 years! -without a serious injury. That is an achievement of almost unbelievable scope and proportion. Beasley became a charter member of NAPT and one of its early Presidents. He was also a multi-term member of the NAPT Board of Directors. Among many awards and achievements, he has received the NAPT Distinguished Service Award and the Distinguished Service to Safety - the highest award available - from the National Safety Council. He has also been named School Bus Fleet Magazine's "Administrator of the Year" and was a recipient of the "Gold Wheel Award" from Pioneer News Magazine.
ED DONN worked in transportation for thirty-four years, split between tenures in Maryland and Georgia. He has been actively involved in NAPT since its start; in fact, he holds the distinction of being one of only two people elected to serve two terms as NAPT President. One of Donn's lifelong passions has been promoting educational opportunities for those who work in school transportation. Ed was one of the first Directors of Pupil Transportation to be certified by the National Committee Motor Fleet Supervisor, Penn State University and he helped to develop and implement the NAPT Professional Certification Program. In addition to his lifelong interest in professional growth and professional development, Ed has always been at the forefront of industry efforts to improve operations. He has served as a delegate and committee member for five (5) National Conferences on School Transportation and was co-Chair of the School Bus Specifications Section at the 11th and 12th NCST's in 1990 and 1995 respectively. He has been recognized for his many accomplishments by, among others, School Bus Fleet magazine, which named him its "Educator of the Year" in 1989, and Pioneer News Magazine, which awarded him the "Golden Wheel" in 1990.
TED CLAYTON gave over 40 safety and product related presentations to state, provincial and local conferences up and down both coasts – "from Nova Scotia to Key West, FL, and from Arizona to British Columbia as well as many points in between" he says. In the early 1970's Clayton worked to develop vendor support for the fledgling NAPT Conference & Trade Show. He also served on a variety of committees to promote school bus safety with the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) and the Southeastern States Pupil Transportation Conference (SESPTC). Clayton was also a two-time Chairman of the School Transportation Section of the National Safety Council. He was active in NSC for more than 20 years and received the organization's prestigious Distinguished Service to Safety Award, which is the Safety Council's highest honor bestowed on an individual in recognition of outstanding service to the field of safety. Clayton was also named an Honorary Lifetime member of NSC for his career-long dedication to safety.
DENNIS R. ESSARY worked as the Transportation Director of the North Kansas City Schools before moving to Gresham, OR in mid-1995 to work for Lee Larson's School Bus Services, Inc. as Vice President of School Bus Operations. He began working for the Beaverton (OR) Public Schools in 1997 and became the district's Director of Transportation Services in the spring of 2002. Dennis was President of both the Missouri Association for Pupil Transportation and the Oregon Association for Pupil Transportation. He chaired the Missouri delegation to the 1990 National Conference on School Transportation and attended the 1995 and year 2000 conferences as a delegate from Oregon. Dennis was an NAPT member for more than 20 years. During that time, he selflessly supported the organization and its goals. He was the 10th person to become a NAPT Certified Director of Pupil Transportation. He served as Chair of numerous NAPT committees, including the Human Resources, Research and Development Committee, the Membership Committee, and the Professional Growth Committee. Dennis chaired the ad hoc Executive Director search committee, served on the ad hoc committee to review and revise the NAPT By-laws, and led the ad hoc committee to create the Student Transportation Quality Award. He served two terms on the Board of Directors. He was voted president-elect at the 1994 conference in Albuquerque, NM and served as NAPT President in 1995-96 and received the Distinguished Service Award in 1998. He died in a motorcycle accident on Friday, June 27, 2003 and was inducted into the NAPT Hall of Fame posthumously on November 9, 2003.
DON M. CARNAHAN started his career as a teacher for the Renton (WA) School District before he switched jobs in 1974 and went to work for the state department of Education, where he worked as the State Director of Pupil Transportation for the next 22 years, before retiring in 1996. During his time with the WA DOE, Don was chair of the 11th National Congress of School Transportation (1990) and served as the first two-year President of NASDPTS (1992 to 1994). Don was NAPT President-elect in 1997 and served as NAPT President in 1998-99. His leadership was instrumental in encouraging the NAPT Board to develop a strategic plan that included initiatives in communications, education, government relations and professional growth, all of which remain focal points for the organization today. He also laid the groundwork for NAPT to purchase its current headquarters and expand staff immediately after his term ended. After his term as NAPT President, Don joined the Board of the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute, and served as that organization's President from 2001 to 2003. He also helped create the NAPT Foundation, Inc. and served on its original Board of Directors, beginning in 2000. Don was inducted into the NAPT Hall of Fame on November 5, 2006. Don passed away while serving his second term as NAPT President in October 2014.
PAULA M. HANNA worked for NAPT from 1988 to 1995, serving as the association's Executive Secretary. In addition to her keen sense of humor and hearty laugh, Paula was known for her attention to detail - a critical factor in the association's success in its early years - and was the lynchpin of NAPT's growth during her tenure. Prior to working for NAPT, Paula was actively involved in NAPT as a member. She was honored with the NAPT Distinguished Service Award in 1984. Paula was 62 when she died on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was inducted into the NAPT Hall of Fame posthumanously on November 5, 2006.
CARROLL PITTS, JR. is a former social studies teacher who became the director of transportation for the Richland County School District in Columbia, SC in 1976, joined the SCAPT Board in 1978 and was the organization's President by 1980. He moved to Georgia in 1982, joined the GAPT Executive Board in 1983 and became GAPT President in 1987. Carroll was elected to the NAPT Board in 1984 and served as a Regional Director until he was elected NAPT President in 1989. After he took a short time off to help his school district stabalize the budget, staffing, purchasing and personnel issues of a transportation operation that would turn into a $38 million operation with 1,128 employees and 1,184 buses, Carroll was elected to yet another term on the NAPT Board from 1993 to 1996. Carroll served on or Chaired 8 different committees for NAPT. He was a delegate at the National Congress of School Transportation in 1995, 2000 and 2005, Chaired the NCST School Bus Chassis Writing Committee in 1995 and 2000 and served as the NAPT representative on the NCST Steering Committee in 2000 and 2005. Carroll was inducted into the NAPT Hall of Fame on November 5, 2006.
RICHARD E. FISCHER has been a tireless supporter and advocate for pupil transportation for 51 years. Hired as a bus driver for the Orange Unified School District, Orange, California in 1956, Mr. Fischer quickly advanced to Transportation Director in little more than two years' time. He remained a Transportation Director for 11 years. In 1963, Mr. Fischer was instrumental in founding National School Bus Safety Week and received a Presidential commendation for his effort from President Nixon in 1970. That same year he was hired as Corporate Vice President for Safety, Training and Personnel Development by ARA School Bus Transportation Services. Mr. Fischer founded Trans-Consult in 1977. As President and owner of this international school bus transportation consulting firm, Mr. Fischer is engaged in detailed analyses of school transportation operations, training bus drivers and hosting driver-trainer workshops. Mr. Fisher has embraced electronic media and in 1996 started the first daily School Bus Safety e-Newsletter that focuses on the importance of safety and the value of networking with industry professionals. He also developed a six-video training series concentrated on pupil safety and driver training. He is a member of the National Safety Council (NSC), a member of the Editorial Board of School Transportation News and was recognized by School Bus Fleet in 2002 as one of 25 leaders in the pupil transportation field. He received the Distinguished Service Award in 2004 from NAPT for his service to pupil transportation and earned the NSC Distinguished Service to Safety Award in 1996.
THOMAS R. CELLITTI was inducted into the NAPT Hall of Fame in 2009. Tom was commended for his industry leadership and advocacy during his tenure as the founding Vice President and General Manager for IC Bus, a subsidiary of Navistar Corp. He led IC Bus into an industry leader by integrating the manufacturing of the chassis and body to build a better bus and better support bus customers. He was an original member of the Board of Directors of the NAPT Foundation and participated in the first national workshops dedicated to new emission standards and alternative fuels. He was a founding member and Chairman of the NASDPTS Supplier Council. Tom was also a longtime board member of PTSI. Through Cellitti’s encouragement, the IC Bus strongly supported all the national (NAPT, NASDPTS, and NSTA), and state level associations. Tom retired from Navistar after 38 years as Corporate VP of Quality and Reliability in 2013.
BILL PAUL began reporting on the North American school transportation industry in 1982 as the publisher and editor of School Bus Fleet magazine. During his time at School Bus Fleet, Bill conceived, and with the assistance of several key players, organized and chaired the Suppliers Council of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation. In 1991 he left School Bus Fleet to start his own magazine, School Transportation News. In 1992, he collaborated with numerous state directors of pupil transportation to revive the Western States Pupil Transportation Conference, which he eventually converted into the STN EXPO. His company, now called STN Media, grew steadily under his guidance and direction to become an industry powerhouse.
BILL LOSHBOUGH has been an NAPT member since 1979. He attended his first NAPT conference in 1980 and has not missed one since – a string that is unmatched in the history of the association. In addition to chairing numerous NAPT committees, Bill served on the NAPT Board as a regional director, President-elect and President. He received the Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 1992. Loshbough is a former state director of pupil transportation for New Mexico, a two-time Chair of the National Congress on School Transportation (NCST) and has served as the National Safety Council’s representative on the NCST’s Interim Steering Committee for more than 25 years. Mr. Loshbough has been NAPT’s director of meetings and conventions since 1992 and works for HSM Transportation Solutions in regional sales. He joined the company in 2014 when it acquired his previous employer, the C.E. White Company. He also owns ExecuWest Consultants in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
FRANK DI GIACOMO has been involved in the pupil transportation industry since 1981, when Bobit Business Media hired him as eastern sales manager for School Bus Fleet magazine. In 1991, Mr. Di Giacomo was named publisher, a role in which he set the direction and tone of the magazine, both in sales and editorially. He has been a longtime active member of NAPT, a fixture at conferences and trade shows over the past three decades, and received NAPT's Distinguished Service Award in 2014. Several years ago, he formed an agreement with NAPT to publish the association’s News & Views column in SBF on a monthly basis. Frank also regularly promoted NAPT and its initiatives and events through his own editorials in the magazine, which influences thousands of people throughout the school bus field. While serving as publisher of School Bus Fleet magazine, Frank often promoted safety issues for pupil transportation. For example, in one of his Last Word columns, he described the benefits of NAPT’s professional development and certification programs, pointing to the positive impact that they can have on career advancement. Mr. Di Giacomo has also taken on pressing safety issues, such as children being left stranded on school buses and industry concerns such as the protection of the fuel tax exemption for school buses.
DR. LINDA F. BLUTH has more than 54 years of experience as a Special Educator, 39 of which she has focused on the transportation of children with disabilities and other special needs. Her past experience includes work at the United States Department of Education (USDE); as a University Professor; as a School System Administrator; and a Policy Specialist in the Maryland Governor's Office for Children Youth and Families. Dr. Bluth is a Past-President of NAPT, the recipient of NAPT’s Distinguished Service Award (2000) and NAPT’s Award for Excellence in Special Needs Transportation (2013), and is currently an Emeritus member of the NAPT President’s Special Needs Advisory Committee. She is the author of NAPT’s best-selling publication “Transporting Students with Disabilities” and has updated it five times since the mid-1990’s. Dr. Bluth has presented on a variety of transportation topics in 44 states, Canada and the Emirate of Dubai. In addition, she has written and had published over 125 articles on transportation and related topics. She currently serves as a tenured emeritus faculty member at the annual National Conference and Trade Show on Transporting Students with Disabilities & Preschoolers. Dr. Bluth has served as both Chairperson and Co-Chairperson of the Infants, Toddlers and Preschool Writing Committee for the 12th (1995), 13th (2000), 14th (2005), 15th (2010) and 16th (2015) National Congress’ on School Transportation and serves on conference planning committees across the country. 
J. STEVEN KALMES, CDPT has served on the committee that developed the curriculum for the NAPT Professional Development Series (PDS), which launched in 1990.  He then became just the 55th person in America to be an NAPT Certified Director of Pupil Transportation (CDPT).  He was among the first 20 people to complete all the required coursework.  (Prior to the year 2004, the NAPT Certification Program was both education-based AND experience-based; you could qualify for the exam by either completing coursework OR meeting an experience requirement.  Most of the early CDPT applicants used the experience-based option to qualify for the exam; Steve could have but he took the education-based route instead).  Steve is the only one among that group who is still certified.
Steve has been a member of the NAPT Professional Growth Committee for more than 30 years.  He chaired the committee for 14 years.  Most notable among the Committee’s achievements that occurred under his leadership are the implementation of the current 90/60/20 hours of education requirements for Director/Supervisor and Specialist certifications respectively; creation of a Learning Management System (LMS) that enables people to take courses online to enhance accessibility; and the development and implementation of continuing education requirements.  Steve also led the effort to ensure and increase access to PDS coursework at and during the annual NAPT conference.
In 2003, Steve worked for nearly 6 months with his counterparts at the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) and the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) to forge a partnership that has since become known as the American School Bus Council.  Now in its 16th year, this coalition continues to serve as a democratic, non-partisan forum for the organizations to discuss industry issues and do projects together.
Finally, Steve has been instrumental in creating the symbiotic relationship between NAPT and the NAPT Foundation, Inc.  Steve was on the Board back in 1999 when the Foundation was created as a vehicle for NAPT to provide continuing education for its members with tax and other financial advantages for the association.  Unfortunately, the plan to integrate the two entities was never executed.  When Steve was named Foundation President in 2016, he was able in short order to address the challenges that had stymied the plan for years.  Today, the Foundation is a fully functioning partner of NAPT and offers more continuing education opportunities to NAPT members than ever.
PETE BAXTER, CDPT with over three decades of experience in school transportation Pete Baxter believes passionately about one thing - "the delivery of children doesn't just happen in the hospital." As Indiana's long time State Director in the Office of School Transportation and Emergency Planning, retiring in 2010, he led state-wide training efforts for new and veteran school bus drivers, provided expert regulatory and policy guidance to public and non-public school superintendents and transportation directors. Baxter also influenced and shaped state legislation on important school transportation issues. His most notable legislative accomplishments include prohibiting the use of 15-passendger vans for student use while requiring use of a MFSAB; prohibiting the blocking of school bus emergency exits; and requiring bus drivers to perform a post-trip inspection for remaining students. Contributions to the school transportation industry are not limited to Indiana. Baxter is a past president of NAPT and NASDPTS, and a form NCST Chairperson. 
MIKE MARTIN served as the Executive Director and CEO of NAPT and the NAPT Foundation from October 1995 until May 2022. He played a critical role in overseeing all aspects of the association. Mike delivered 100 keynote presentations and has contributed to numerous tv, print media, and radio outlets on behalf of the yellow school bus and pupil transportation. At the time of his nomination, Mike is serving in the alternative transportation industry as a senior strategic advisor. 
DON PAULL, CDPT began his career in pupil transportation while attending High School in Alexandria, Virginia. During the years prior to 1980 high schools students in some states were permitted to drive school buses while attending high school. Don was selected and hired in the position of school bus driver for the Alexandria Public Schools while in high school. This experience planted the seed of service in pupil transportation which would impact his future. His efforts on behalf of the pupil transportation industry will be recognized well into the future. They may not carry his name but the substance of what he contributed will remain part of the fabric of our industry. His efforts along with some of his contemporaries in Texas will continue in the programs he assisted in developing. Likewise his efforts on behalf of NAPT and the NAPT Foundation will allow for growth of both organizations. His efforts with the certification program and his leadership during his Presidency and the invaluable efforts on behalf of the foundation will be valued well into the future. As with time the names slowly disappear but the fabric of the substance continues forward to undergo modifications to serve the future.
DONALD TUDOR, CDPT is the President of Donald Tudor Services LLC, offering school transportation consulting services. In 2011, he retired as the Director of Transportation for the South Carolina Department of Education after twenty years of service. Donald has served the NAPT Board for years and is not a Vice President and Secretary of the NAPT Foundation. He is also highly involved with the South Carolina Association for Pupil Transportation. His professional accomplishments have positively impacted the student transportation industry for many years and continue to do so today.
For guidelines, critieria and additional information, click here.

Download the nomination form

Induction into the NAPT Hall of Fame is the highest honor NAPT can bestow.

Potential members of the Hall of Fame will therefore be evaluated, at a minimum, by the following criteria:
  • Personal Contributions
    Has the nominee made an extraordinary commitment of time, energy or money to support NAPT and/or the school transportation industry?
  • Eminence
    Have his or her achievements in communication, leadership, education, advocacy, or research distinguished the nominee from his or her contemporaries?
  • Influence
    Has the nominee's influence been of major significance to NAPT and/or the pupil transportation industry even though it may have been confined largely to a single field of specialization (e.g., engineering, sales, training, etc.)?
  • Permanence
    Is it probable that the nominee's accomplishments will continue to be valued by pupil transportation leaders of the future? How likely it is that future generations of American school transportation professionals will consider the nominees contributions noteworthy?

The paperwork must be submitted by an NAPT member, be postmarked no later than September 18, 2023. Forms can also be emailed.
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