Conference Speakers

2023 Keynote Speakers

Dr. Ben Springer

ASPEN on the School Bus: Managing Aggressive Behaviors

Thursday, Nov. 16 l 8 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Unless you’ve spent some time on the “Yellow Submarine,” you just don’t understand. Disruptive and dangerous student behaviors take on a whole new dynamic on the bus. It is critical that school systems align the training of managing aggressive student behavior across both school and bus environments. Dr. Ben Springer, a national certified and award-winning school psychologist as well as author and a former director of special education, presents a half-day overview of his “Aspen on the Bus” curriculum that addresses safety on the school bus, especially managing students who are disabled or have special needs with dangerous or aggressive behaviors.

Students who are struggling in school are spending a lot of the time on the school bus as well and need support. So do the drivers, attendants and other transportation staff who are providing these children services. All TSD attendees will receive a free individual subscription to Dr. Ben’s training courses, a $595 value. District packages with an unlimited subscription will also be available for purchase.

Ben Springer is the director of the Family Education Center at Wasatch County School District in Utah as well as an award-winning and nationally certified school psychologist and the founder of Totem PD. He is also a former director of special education for the school district and before that a school bus attendant for students with special needs. Ben received his master’s and doctoral degrees in educational psychology at the University of Utah and has studied psychological assessment, counseling, school-wide positive behavior supports, bullying prevention programs, parental involvement, evidence-based practice, autism, and social skills instruction. Ben has become a popular speaker and presenter in the State of Utah for his keynote addresses on Autism (“Autism is a Burrito”) and ADHD (“ADHD: The Goods”) presenting at the University of Utah, St. Marks Hospital Rounds, Heber Valley Pediatrics, Summit Pediatrics, Utah Valley University and the Southwest Educational Development Center. In March 2021, his book “GPS: Good Parenting Strategies: The No-Guilt Survival Guide for Parenting During the Pandemic and Beyond” was published. He is also the author of the 2018 book “Happy Kids Don’t Punch You in the Face: A Guide to Eliminating Aggressive Behavior in School.” 

Betsey Helfrich

Transportation of Special Education Students: Avoiding the Bumps and Legal Hazards

Friday, Nov. 17 l TBD

In this fast-paced presentation, special education attorney Betsey Helfrich, will examine school transportation from a legal perspective.  From a review of recent case law to current hot-topics, this presentation will dive into the legalities of the transportation of students with disabilities.  From aides on buses to sharing information with the transportation department, this presentation will include practical tips that you need to know to minimize liability and keep students safe.


Betsey practices special education law in Kansas and Missouri. Formerly the special education department lead for Mickes O’Toole, LLC in St. Louis, she now runs her own practice. She has successfully represented school districts against a variety of claims in state and federal courts, including the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as in administrative and special education due process hearings. She provides general counsel to schools on special education matters and conducts local and national training on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and all areas of the Individuals with Disabilities Education. Betsey presented at LRP’s 38th and 39th Annual National Institute on Legal Issues of Educating Individuals with Disabilities.

2023 Break-out Speakers As of 1/21/23. Subject to change

Theresa Anderson
Anderson Consulting

JW Barrett
General Manager
Goldstar Transit

Laura Beth Blankenship
Physical Therapist
Knox County Schools in Tennessee

Linda F. Bluth, Ed.D.
Bluth Special Needs Transportation

Josy Campbell
Operations Manager
Harrison School District Two in Colorado

Megan Carey
Chief Development Officer

Jerad Castor
Managing Director of Transportation
Frisco ISD in Texas

Eliza Clement
Certified ASL Interpreter
Dallas ISD in Texas

Richard Cooper
Chief Science Officer
Clean Spray Technologies, LLC

Denny Coughlin
School Bus Training LLC

Sandy Dillman
Director of Transportation
Tomball Independent School District in Texas

Fred Doelker
Director of Training Programs
Dean Transportation in Michigan

Denise Donaldson, CPST-I
Editor & Publisher
Safe Ride News

Quanika Dukes-Spruill
Executive Director, Transportation Services
Newark Board of Education

Stephen F. Fusco
Director of Legal Affairs and Data Security

Frank Gazeley
Sales Consultant

Launi Harden

Aaron Harris
National Sales and Training Manager
Besi, Inc.

Kala Henkensiefken
Special Education Transportation Manager
Bemidji Area Schools in Minnesota

Charlie Hood
Retired Executive Director

Michael Jones
Executive Director of Transportation
Fort Bend ISD in Texas

Jack Kendrick

Shawn Kendrick

Paul Lavigne
Executive Director
Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) in California

Miriam Manary, CPST
Lead Research Engineer
University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

Kimberly Martin
Industry Engagement Consultant
Tyler Technologies

Kevin Mest
Senior Vice President
Zonar Systems

Diandra Neugent, CPST
Transportation Manager
Community Council of Idaho

Trisha Nolan
Southern Regional Manager

Anthony Pollard
Director of Transportation
Baldwin County Board of Education in Alabama

Kelly Rhodunda
Transportation Manager
Upper Moreland School District in Pennsylvania

Alexandra Robinson
A. Robinson Consulting

Pete Salinas
Director of National Accounts


Karen Schwind RN, NCSN
Board President
Texas School Nurses Organization

Sharon Shannon
Student advocate, Frisco ISD in Texas

Anthony Shields
Director of Transportation
San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District in Texas

Sue Shutrump, CPST
Supervisor of OT/PT & Tenured Faculty
Trumbull County Educational Service Center in Ohio

Kayne Smith
Director of Transportation
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in Texas

Jocelyn Taylor
The Experts in Education Consortium

Chris Thomas
National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA)

Jay Thurber
Transportation Coordinator
Wendell Schools in Idaho

Scott Turner

Maritza Valentin
Contract/National Account Manager
AMF-Bruns America

Rosalyn Vann-Jackson
Chief Support Services Officer
Broken Arrow Public Schools in Oklahoma

Charlie Vits, CPST
Market Development Manager/Regulatory Affairs Manager

Stephen Whaley
Director of Autogas Business Development
Propane Education and Research Council

Winship Wheatley
Consultant & Expert Witness
Sole Proprietor

Bobby Williams
Assistant Director of Fleet Services
Cypress Fairbanks ISD in Texas

Caleb Williams
Assistant Director of Transportation
College Station ISD in Texas

Tenured Faculty
Sue Shutrump

Sue Shutrump

Alex Robinson

Alex Robinson

Tenured Faculty Emeritus
Linda Bluth

Linda Bluth

Peggy Burns

Peggy Burns

Pauline Gervais

Pauline Gervais

Kathy Strotmeyer

Kathy Strotmeyer

Cheryl Wolf

Cheryl Wolf

Jean Zimmerman

Jean Zimmerman

National Board of Advisors
John Benish

John Benish

Kathleen Furneaux

Kathleen Furneaux

Mark Hinson

Mark Hinson

Charles Hood

Charles Hood

Charley Kennington

Charley Kennington

Miriam Manary

Miriam Manary

Pete Meslin

Pete Meslin