Kelvin Clayton has one of those jobs that someone has to do but no one is ever quite sure who does it.
Clayton, also a member of the Orem City Council, works for the Utah Office of Education as its pupil transportation specialist. He was recently named acting president of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services.In other words, he commands Utah's fleet of about 1,700 school buses and works out any school transportation problems that may arise in Utah - and now leads the national organization that has the same purpose.
"Actually, Salt Lake has been the financial home base for the organization for a few years now," Clayton said, who has been a member of the association for 21 years. But the presidency changes every year.
"The association advocates for safety and efficiency in pupil transportation nationwide," he said.
But Clayton said there are problems associated with student transportation and state directors walk a tightrope between giving too much service and being too economical.
Sometimes it is not possible to do one better without sacrificing the other, he said. "There is a delicate balance."
Nevertheless, Clayton enjoys his job and the variety of challenges it brings and said he is looking forward to the coming year.
As president, Clayton said the organization's focus will be a challenge from the National Transportation Safety Board to develop a nationwide plan for school bus safety.
There are national standards for school buses, which are updated every five years at the association's national standards conference, but a national, uniform safety plan for emergencies and evacuation is still being put together.
Bus accidents in the United States this past year have given impetus to create a plan, Clayton said.
"Invariably, every time there is an accident or a failure we get a lot of press," he said. But the organization has done much to promote transportation safety.
Since the association was organized in 1968, Clayton said he can see progress.