CUBA CITY—Earning national recognition for his work, Russ Stratton was awarded the Golden Merit Award at the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) Annual Convention on July 18 in Indianapolis, Ind.
“It’s an honor to be recognized at the national level,” Stratton said. “I was completely surprised by this. I had no idea I was getting an award at the convention.”
The Golden Merit Award recognizes 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. There are up to 10 awards presented each year.
Russ’s family started Stratton Buses in 1970, and at a young age Russ was assisting his father in the shop. He started running his own terminal at the age of 18. Nine years later, Russ was proud to purchase the business to allow his father to retire. It was then that the business became known as Russ Stratton Buses.
He currently operates school transportation for Cuba City, Southwestern, Cassville and Seneca public schools.
For a 10-year period, in addition to school buses, Russ operated eight motor coaches and found enjoyment in getting behind the wheel himself, planning and leading many trips across the country.
Russ readily supports local groups and associations with in-kind transportation in an effort to give back to the communities he serves. He is an active past president of the Wisconsin School Bus Association and served as an alderperson on the Cuba City Common Council for 14 years.
“Russ loves the school bus business and to this day still opens the office bright and early every day and maintains a personal relationship with all his drivers,” John Turney, Executive Vice President of Landmark Student Transportation, said. “Russ’s commitment to the school transportation industry and the communities we serve is unparalleled.”
Russ was joined by eight other award recipients: Lydell Banks of New Orleans, La.; Darlene Davis of Olathe, Kan.; Keith Harms of Great Lakes Region, Mich.; Sandra Higgins of Alliston, Ontario; Emma Hussey of Windsor, Ontario; Alma Lawrence of Irvine, Calif.; Scott Parker of Chicago; and Esther Sanford of Lansing, Mich.