GCSD welcomes Craig Lipps as the district’s new Transportation Director

Man staring straight ahead.The Guilderland Central School District is excited to welcome Craig Lipps as its new Transportation Director. Mr. Lipps brings over 18 years of experience to the role, having been a school bus driver, regional manager, dispatcher, safety/operations manager and transportation director. He’s excited about joining GCSD and is ready to hit the ground running.

“Nearly all of my life, I have been passionate about pupil transportation. With over 20 years of experience, I have gained a deep understanding of the industry. Coupled with GCSD’s strong transportation department, I am confident that we will successfully navigate the challenges that the industry faces,” he said.

Mr. Lipps joins GCSD from the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District and has been actively involved in the school transportation sector since 2000. Melding his passion into a profession, Mr. Lipps’s adoration for the industry began as a child being “fascinated by the big yellow bus.” He began his career as a bus driver for the Hudson Falls Central School District in 2000, ensuring the safe transport of students to and from school, in addition to training new drivers and monitors. After five years, Mr. Lipps secured a new opportunity as the Safety and Training Manager for Durham School Services. During his tenure, Mr. Lipps was able to reduce the volume of accidents and injuries at the company’s Albany location simply by implementing policies and procedures that were already in place.

In 2009, Mr. Lipps made the move to the Sunshine State and brought his school transportation skills to the Birnie Bus Service. As the Regional/General Manager, Mr. Lipps not only oversaw multiple locations, vehicles and staff, but he organized the setup and management of five contract operations, which included Duval Public Schools. This was one of the most successful start-ups in the history of the district, especially since it was a mileage contract that involved a lot of detail to ensure maximum revenue and minimize expenses. Mr. Lipps’s attention to detail also helped him save the district $600,000 per year by routinely analyzing route data and making adjustments accordingly.

Between 2016 and 2021, Mr. Lipps spent time in both New York State and Florida, continuing to capitalize on his transportation skills and experience with new roles. He returned to Durham School Services, which eventually became a part of First Student, as the Dispatcher, Operations and Safety Manager. Many of Mr. Lipps’s job responsibilities were similar to his role at the Birnie Bus Service, providing management and oversight of locations and employees. One of his greatest achievements was improving the company’s safety performance in the last quarter of 2016 from an F to an A. He also increased customer satisfaction and ensured the initial setup of First Student’s operations went seamlessly.

In March 2022, Mr. Lipps became the Transportation Director at the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk CSD. As a hands-on leader, Mr. Lipps oversaw the daily operations of the Transportation Department and led a team of drivers, monitors and maintenance staff. This school year has been successful for RCS CSD in regards to achieving goals set forth by the department. For example, the department has reduced contract transportation by nearly $400,000, maintained high levels of service delivery, efficiently maximized staff resources, improved retention, implemented new technology and renewed community support. Moreover, “we achieved the main goal of drastically improving service levels to help RCS students succeed,” according to Mr. Lipps. With a nationwide school bus driver shortage and district budgets stretched thin, maintaining efficiency and maximizing financial resources has never been more important and is essential to the successful operation of any school district’s transportation department.

While Mr. Lipps has only been in his new role for a week, he’s motivated and excited for the future, and is looking forward to utilizing his skillset to make sure GCSD students can get where they need to go safely.

“I am honored to be a part of GCSD and I’m thrilled to lead this team and transport GCSD students to their success, safely!” said Mr. Lipps.

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