NASDPTS Annual Conference Speaker Information
Nate Baguio, The Lion Electric Co.
Nate Baguio has been working in the transportation industry for over 30 years. His career has taken him from behind the wheel of a school bus to launching the largest deployment of heavy-duty electric vehicles in North America.
In 1990, he started in the student transportation industry managing operations for Ryder Student Transportation Services. In this position, he had overall responsibility for the startup and deployment of school bus operations across the State of California. His time in operations was highlighted by the management of over 330 employees and the management of over 300 school bus routes for the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Baguio spent time working on various transit projects in Los Angeles County. He was part of the team that opened segment three of the Redline subway to 500,000 riders on opening weekend and worked to complete an $800-Million, 14-mile segment of light rail from Los Angeles to Pasadena (first segment of the Metro Gold Line). He was part of the team that designed and implemented a comprehensive safety project along the Metro Blue Line corridor in response to 16 fatalities in a single year. The first year of project implementation had an immediate impact with zero fatalities that year.
He returned to school transportation in 2005 as Senior Director of Business Development for First Student, Inc., the largest school bus operator in North America. In this role, he worked with school districts across the country to renew their contracted service or start new contracted school bus service. He led efforts that resulted in new contracted service across the U.S. and placed over 1,000 new school buses in service of various types and from most of the major OEMs for these new contracts.
Currently, he is working to electrify the transportation industry as Senior Vice President of Commercial Development for one of the nation’s leading EV manufacturers, The Lion Electric Co. Since joining Lion in 2018, he has helped position Lion as the leader in electric school bus deployments across North America. Baguio leads the electric bus sales division for Lion in the U.S. and electric truck deployments in the State of California.
Baguio is proud to not only provide a healthy breathing environment to students, drivers, technicians and communities, but to help educate the industry on the favorable economics of operating zero emission, electric medium and heavy-duty vehicles.
Phone: (310) 266-1972
Michele Beckjord, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
With over 26 years of Federal service, Ms. Michele Beckjord first joined the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in 1995 as a Survival Factors Investigator and has investigated transportation crashes throughout the U.S., including major marine accidents, pipeline explosions, train crashes and assisted in two major aviation crash investigations. She has also investigated a multitude of different highway crashes involving school buses, motorcoaches, mid-size buses, tractor-semitrailers, a World War 2 DUCK-boat collision with a motorcoach and a high-fatality pedestrian bridge collapse over an active roadway.
Ms. Beckjord has also served as a Senior Project Manager for nationally recognized NTSB major investigative reports, co-chaired the NTSB’s Highway Crash Investigations course taught through the NTSB’s training center, and advocated for the NTSB’s safety recommendations in podcasts, has written articles on crash investigations, and been featured in national syndicated satellite radio and television interviews. For the last two and a half years, she has led a team of senior crash investigators as a Supervisory Investigator-In-Charge and now serves as Chief of the NTSB’s newly formed Multidisciplinary Investigations Branch.
Phone: (202) 314-6000
Albert Burleigh, Blue Bird Corporation
Albert Burleigh, Executive Director of EV Sales: Albert Burleigh joined Blue Bird in 2007. He’s held various positions within the company in School Bus Sales and Dealer Development. As Executive Director of EV Sales, he oversees all aspects of electric bus sales and business development for North America. Before joining Blue Bird, Albert spent 15 years with Ford Motor Company, where he held management positions in sales, marketing, customer service, and dealer operations. Albert holds an MBA from McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Marketing from Louisiana State University.
Phone: (478) 919-7311
David Cantrell, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
David J. Cantrell, Ph.D., serves as the deputy director in the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) within the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education (Department). In this role, he assists the OSEP director in overseeing administration of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which authorizes formula grants to states under IDEA Part B and to lead agencies for the infants and families program under IDEA Part C. IDEA also authorizes discretionary grants under IDEA Part D to institutions of higher education and other non-profit organizations to support grants for state personnel development, technical assistance and dissemination, technology, and parent training and information centers.
Prior to joining OSEP, Cantrell worked as a director in the Department’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education where he administered grants to states and local education agencies for the Rural Education Achievement Program and the Consolidated Grant to the Insular Areas. Additionally, he spearheaded technical assistance activities for states by leading the Office of Program and Grantee Support Services which oversees the Equity Assistance Centers and Comprehensive Centers.
Prior to working at the U.S. Department of Education, Cantrell worked at the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity where he taught students with disabilities, served as a district coordinator, school administrator, and then as director of special education and student support services.
Cantrell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Louisville, a Master of Education in special education from North Carolina State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in special education policy from the University of Maryland-College Park.
Mark Childers, Thomas Built Buses, Inc.
Phone: (202) 245-7459
Mark Childers is the Manager of Powertrain and Technology Sales for Thomas Built Buses. He is responsible for strategic growth of Detroit and Cummins powertrain solutions across product lines. Additionally, he leads market development of new emerging technologies which advance the safety and efficiency of Thomas Built Buses. Prior to his current role, Mark was the Customer Support Manager at Thomas for six years leading activities to support customers in the aftermarket. Mark has also held key roles in business development, sales and operational management with Volvo and Mack Commercial Finance. Mark has an undergraduate Finance degree from Appalachian State University and a MBA from Elon University.
Phone: (336) 881-6589
Max Christensen, Iowa State Director
Max serves as the State Director of Pupil Transportation in Iowa and is a Past-President of NASDPTS (National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services), serving in that capacity from 2012-2014, and was part of the NASDPTS Executive Team from 2010-2020. He’s been involved with school transportation since 1987, having started as a head driver/mechanic/supervisor. He worked at three local school districts in Iowa prior to attaining the State Director position in 2003 and has the distinction of being the longest serving current State Director in the nation. Back home, he strives for a progressive agenda to keep Iowa at the forefront in the school transportation industry, with the safety of students as his bottom line in all situations.
In 2018, he was honored to receive the national “Administrator of the Year Award” from School Bus Fleet magazine, in part due to his efforts at making Iowa the first state in the nation to have all school bus drivers trained in how to recognize the warning signs for victims of human trafficking. Since then, several other states have followed his lead in battling this horrendous crime. His most satisfying achievement occurred in 2019 as he led the fight to bring legislation to Iowa mandating lap/shoulder belts in all new school buses. In 2022 he received the “Outstanding Anti-Trafficking Service Award” from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery, again for his accomplishment in training 100% of Iowa’s school bus drivers in this area.
His passions include his family, traveling, airplanes, and photography. He and his wife of 28 years, Lisa, are the proud parents of their 14-year old daughter Olivia and their 13-year old son Isaiah, both of whom were adopted from China as infants. With kids that age in the house, there is never a dull, or quiet, moment!
Phone: (515) 281-4749
Rich Clemente, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
Richard Clemente has nearly 35 years experience in transportation safety in the trucking industry. In his present position, Rich is a Transportation Specialist for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and has now been with the Agency for 16 years.
Clemente works in the Driver and Carrier Operations Division and is responsible for assisting in the development of Federal rulemaking initiatives, interpretation and clarification of the Agency’s regulations and policies including the development and implementation of the entry level driver training rule.
Clemente previously was Director of Safety for the Truckload Carriers Association and began his career in transportation with the American Trucking Associations as a Safety Engineer.
Phone: (202) 366-4225
David Cooper, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) / U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Mr. Cooper was selected in December 2021 as the Industry Engagement Branch Manager overseeing security policy for pipelines, freight rail, mass transit and passenger rail, maritime, highway and motor carriers, and cybersecurity policy for each surface mode of transportation.
Since 2013, Mr. Cooper served as the Industry Engagement Manager for Highway and Motor Carrier within TSA’s Policy, Plans & Engagement (PPE). Mr. Cooper has responsibility for coordination and collaboration with public and private stakeholders on behalf of TSA. Mr. Cooper’s area of focus is to develop intelligence driven and risk-based security policies to address potential threats to highway modes of transportation in partnership with other government agencies and private sector industries. These modes include trucking, over-the-road bus, school bus, and highway transportation infrastructure.
Previously at TSA Mr. Cooper served as the Branch Chief for Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Consequences within the Highway and Motor Carrier Division. In this capacity, he had responsibility for analyzing daily intelligence reporting, coordinating efforts with public and private stakeholders to identify security gaps, assessing impact to the global supply chain, and providing recommendations and solutions to address the overall risks associated to the transportation sector. Mr. Cooper has also worked with the European Union and Asia Pacific Economies to share critical mitigation strategies and assist in developing strategies and priorities to be used by partner governments and private industries to enhance overall security planning efforts.
Prior to joining DHS/TSA in 2004, Mr. Cooper spent ten years in the private sector as an Operations Manager for a large manufacturing and shipping company in Virginia. His responsibilities included company freight rail, air cargo, and trucking operations, logistics, shipping/receiving, material handling, and small packaging departments as well as managing the company consolidation and distribution centers. He also served honorably on active duty in the U.S. Army as a combat medic with various roles including instructor of emergency and battlefield medicine, flight medic, and special operations in light infantry and armored cavalry units. Mr. Cooper holds a Master’s Degree in Intelligence and Terrorism Studies, a Master’s Certificate in Leadership, and undergraduate degrees in Management and Chemistry.
Phone: (571) 227-2609
Keith Dreiling, Kansas State Director
Keith Dreiling serves as the State Director of School Bus Safety for the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). He joined KSDE in 2013 after he retired from the Kansas Highway Patrol with the rank of Lieutenant and 28 years of service.
In his current role as state director of the School Bus Safety Unit, Dreiling oversees all aspects of the unit and has been instrumental in updating the unit’s website and the school bus inspection program, as well as establishing annual September meetings and workshops for new transportation directors.
Dreiling is the past Central Regional Director for the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services board.
Phone: (785) 296-4567
Josh Jones, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
Joshua Jones is a member of FMCSA’s CDL Division. He serves as the point of contact for FMCSA’s Midwestern Service Center and States and is the program lead for Entry-Level Driver Training and Training Provider Registry project and the Exclusive Electronic Exchange rule.
Phone: (202) 366–7332
Mike LaRocco, NASDPTS Past-President / Indiana State Director
Mr. LaRocco has more than 28 years of experience in school transportation as a Director of Transportation at Hamilton Southeastern Schools, Family Development Services – Head Start for Marion and Hamilton Counties, Center Grove Community Schools, and the Indiana Department of Education. He was hired at the Indiana Department of Education in April 2009, originally to lead the Motorcycle Rider Education Program and Driver’s Education for secondary schools. In July 2010 he was given the responsibility for school transportation with the promotion to Director of the Office of School Transportation.
Mr. LaRocco holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and Master’s degree in Business Administration and served in the United States Army for eight years. He has been married to his wife, Connie (a retired school teacher), for 31 years has a son, Eric, who is working in the field of facilities management.
Phone: (317) 232-0891
Pat McManamon, NASDPTS President / Vermont State Director
Pat attended Norwich University where he majored in Criminal Justice. Upon leaving Norwich in 1980 he was employed by the Burlington, Vermont Fire Department as an Emergency Medical Technician – Defibulator and was assigned to Rescue 1. Rescue 1 covered the Cities of Burlington, So Burlington and the town of Shelburne providing Emergency Medical Care and Rescue operations.
In 1986 Pat transferred to the Burlington Police Department where he served in multiple roles, his last 4 years as the first School Resource Officer at Burlington High School. In 2000, after 20 years’ service to the City of Burlington, Pat retired and was employed by the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles Enforcement and Safety Division as a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Inspector. His duties consisted of conducting commercial vehicle inspections including school buses and as the Division’s Training Coordinator.
At age 55 he retired as a Lieutenant within the Division supervising the Inspectors assigned to the Northern Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Team. After, he became a Highway Safety Specialist within the Enforcement and Safety Division Education Unit serving as the state lead for school transportation programs. Presently, Pat serves as the Supervisor of the Education Unit which oversees school bus safety, the Vermont Rider Education Programs (Motorcycle Training), the state licensing of driver training schools, CDL training schools, instructors and 3rd party examiners, employee background investigations as well as other internal and external department trainings. In his position he continues to serve as the state lead in school transportation.
In 2017 Pat was asked to serve as one of four NASDPTS representatives on the NCST Steering Committee. In late 2018 he was voted in by the Steering Committee as the Chair for the 17th National Congress on School Transportation.
Phone: (802) 828-3757
Larry Minor, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
Larry has worked in the Department’s motor carrier safety program for 32 years. His office is responsible for strategic planning, program evaluations to assess the effectiveness of FMCSA safety initiatives, leading the Agency’s regulatory development activities and the preparation of the associated economic and environmental analyses to support rulemaking actions, evaluating petitions for rulemaking, and evaluating requests for waivers and applications for exemptions from the safety regulations. His office also has responsibility for managing the Agency’s Medical Review Board, a Federal Advisor Committee comprised of five private-sector physicians, and the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners program which provides minimum training and testing requirements for more than 35,000 State-licensed healthcare professionals conducting physical examinations of interstate truck and bus drivers. In addition, his office manages the Agency’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) and serves as the FMCSA’s liaison with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
He began his Federal career in 1989 as a Mechanical Engineer responsible for developing truck and bus safety regulations for the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Motor Carriers. He served as Chief of the Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division from 1999 through February 2005, and Director of the Office of Bus and Truck Standards from 2005 to July 2007, when he was appointed Associate Administrator for Policy. He holds a B.S. in Physics from American University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from George Washington University.
Phone: (202) 366-4012
Jan Moore, National Center for Homeless Education
Jan Moore began her work at the SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in 2000 as part of the Executive Management Team, a group responsible for determining the overall direction and management of the organization which operated a Regional Education Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Education and administered many other federal, state, and school district contracts.
In 2004, Jan transitioned to the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE), which operates a technical assistance center for the U.S. Department of Education’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth program based at the SERVE Center. She currently serves as NCHE’s Co-Director, providing technical assistance to educators, advocates, and others on issues related to educating homeless, highly mobile, and other at-risk students. She is passionate about sharing her experience and equipping others to become better advocates for children and youth. Her extensive experience includes providing assistance in person and online (facilitating over 500 trainings and presentations) and via NCHE’s phone and email helpline (responding to an average of nearly 1000 requests each year). She has also helped develop dozens of NCHE publications, briefs, and webinars.
Jan’s most recent interest is preparing others to mitigate issues related to childhood trauma. She co-created an online learning module addressing poverty, homelessness, mobility, and trauma and conducted it as a research study with aspiring education administrators. The module featured the best of adult learning strategies with information provision, analysis, academic discussion, and the development of an action plan for each student’s school or district.
In addition, Jan has a 25-year history of advocating for at-risk children and youth as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for those in foster care. She also has served on the board of directors of Ultimate Escape, a nonprofit youth-serving agency for 20 years. In her spare time, Jan enjoys riding her bicycle on the country roads surrounding Greensboro, NC.
Phone: (336) 315-7457
Kristin Rosenthal, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Kristin Rosenthal has an extensive background in road safety. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in health education from Wayne State University and has significant experience leading global, national and grassroots initiatives to keep vulnerable road users safe.
She began her career working out of Children’s Hospital of Michigan hospital in Detroit where she coordinated road safety and general injury prevention education for providers, caregivers, patients, and schools across the area.
Prior to NHTSA, Rosenthal worked for nine years at Safe Kids Worldwide, serving as the senior program manager for domestic road safety. Since 2019, Kristin has served as a Highway Safety Specialist at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration working on multiple road safety risk areas. She has spoken as an expert on road safety at conferences, trainings, and workshops and her work as been awarded with The Prince Michael International Road Safety and Golden Halo awards.
Phone: (202) 366-8995
Pat Schofill, NASDPTS President-elect / Georgia State Director
Pat Schofill serves as the Director of Facilities Services and Pupil Transportation for the Georgia Department of Education. He began in this role June 2016. His education career began as a math teacher and progressed into administrative roles in local school districts across Georgia. As a school leader and local district transportation director, the importance of safe and efficient transportation was experienced from the ground up.
As state director, Pat leads a staff that oversees the transportation of approximately 1 million students to and from school each day. Georgia’s Pupil Transportation Division is policy-driven and service-oriented. The division assists local school systems in their efforts to provide safe, reliable, and efficient transportation for students and promotes student transportation as a front-line support service for the instructional program by delivering students safely, on time, and in a frame of mind ready to learn.
Pat began serving on the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services board as the Southern Region Representative in 2017 and is currently serving as the President-elect.
Phone: (404) 780-4526
Ronna Weber, NASDPTS
In 2021, Ronna Weber was named the Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) where she works to represent the interests of state directors of school transportation.
From 2017 to 2021, Weber led Colonial Strategies, a consulting firm designed to serve the needs of the school transportation industry.
Prior to forming Colonial Strategies, Weber served as the Executive Director of the National School Transportation Association from 2012 to 2017.
Weber previously was a U.S. Export Control Officer and performed Ethics & Compliance duties for Alstom Power; and was a Senior Associate with Prime Policy Group, serving the school transportation industry for over 12 years specializing in legislative and regulatory affairs.
Phone: (703) 203-6485
E-mail address: ExecDir@NASDPTS.org
Kelly White, IC Bus, LLC
Kelly White is the Director of eMobility Business Development for IC Bus at Navistar. In this role, Kelly facilitates and educates IC Bus customers on the viability of electric bus adoption. She leads a team that works directly with the IC Bus Regional Sales Managers and IC Bus Dealer network to set the strategic path and implementation for successful customer adoption of these electric vehicles.
Kelly has worked with the International and IC Bus Dealer network for the past seven years. She has held various roles with Navistar as a National Account Manager and Regional Sales Manager. Her experience in working with customers and dealers has created various opportunities for taking a leadership role in cross-functional teams to continuously bring solutions to customers.
Phone: (847) 636-0665
Jason Wilcox, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Jason Wilcox works in EPA’s Transportation and Climate Division within the Office of Transportation and Air Quality. He has helped to coordinate the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebates and State Grants since 2016.
Phone: (202) 343-9571
E-mail address: Wilcox.Jason@epa.gov