Durham School Services Team Member Receives Golden Merit Award

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WARRENVILLE, Ill. — Durham School Services’ Raffael Bolanos, general manager for Rosemead, California, and Kevin Rhine, regional manager in the Central Area, received the prestigious Golden Merit Award from the National School Transportation Association (NSTA). 

NSTA’s Golden Merit Award was started in 1969 to recognize school bus operators for their successful operating achievements in the areas of safety, driver training, business practice, vehicle maintenance, and superior service to the school, community, and the pupil transportation industry.

Bolanos joined Durham School Services 37 years ago as a driver, working his way up through the organization to his current position of general manager of our Rosemead Customer Service Center, where he serves four school districts, ensuring  more than 2,700 children get to school safely, on-time and ready to learn each day. 

“Having worked closely with Raffael over the past 19 years, I have witnessed firsthand his efforts to support and promote the student transportation industry,” said Bob Ramsdell, COO of the Central Area for Durham. “He is an advocate for school bus drivers, ensuring they know how important they are to our company, but more importantly, to the children they transport.  His focus on customer service helps ensure our customers view contracting as the best choice for their transportation needs.”

Rhine joined Durham School Services 11 years ago as director of safety, where he developed programs and provided training to managers, supervisors and drivers in the Midwest to improve our safety performance.  He moved into an operations role in 2012, serving as our Midwest region manager, supporting 23 customer service centers that provide transportation to more than 40 school districts in five states.

“Kevin is passionate about safety and has worked tirelessly to promote school buses as the safest mode of transportation to our customers and the communities in which he works,” said Bob Ramsdell, COO of the Central Area for Durham. “He expects the best out of our drivers and works to give them the tools and support to succeed.  Working with his managers, he creates a work environment where drivers feel appreciated and are able to do their best.”

About Our Company

Durham School Services, Stock Transportation, Petermann Bus and National Express Transit Corporation, make up National Express, headquartered in Warrenville, Ill. As a leader in transit and student transportation, National Express is committed to exceptional safety, outstanding customer service and positive employee relations. Our North American companies operate 23,000 buses and serve over 500 clients in 36 states and four provinces.