About the ESB Initiative | July 5, 2023
Electric School Bus Ambassadors

WRI's Electric School Bus Initiative is proud to partner with the Electric School Bus (ESB) Ambassadors below to support school districts as they transition to electric school buses.

ESB Ambassadors are dedicated individuals across the country using their experience in student transportation and school bus electrification to help facilitate an equitable transition to ESBs.

ESB Ambassadors share their expertise at pupil transportation and other events, in online webinars, through written articles and more. They build connections with peers in student transportation and other fields, answer questions and provide free resources to help other districts go electric.  

WRI’s Electric School Bus Initiative is partnering with these Ambassadors to support districts across the country in making a successful transition to electric school buses, while centering equity in both process and outcomes.

Are you ready to help other districts get on board with electric school buses? Reach out to us to learn about becoming an Ambassador – and amplify your impact! Please contact Jessica Wang at jessica.wang@wri.org. 

Ambassadors

Image
A man with glasses looks at the camera

Tim Farquer   
Acting Superintendent for Williamsfield Schools

Image
A woman stands in front of windows and smiles

Jackie Hayes   
Assistant Director of Contract Operations and Fleet for Boston Public Schools Department of Transportation

Image
A man with glasses smiles in front a blue wall

Ken Martinez   
Transportation Manager for Salt Lake City School District

Image
A man in a hat sits near a computer.

Donnie Owle   
Cherokee Boys Club Service Manager

Image
Gil Rosas, Director II Sustainability & Adaptation, Modesto City Schools

Gilbert Blue Feather Rosas   
Director Sustainability & Adaptation for Modesto City Schools

Image
A woman with glasses smiles

Kenni Jean Schrader   
Transportation Director for Three Rivers Community Schools

Image
A woman smiles for the camera

Katie Tiger   
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Air Quality Program Supervisor

 

 

 

Learn more about the Electric School Bus Ambassadors:

Tim Farquer, Acting Superintendent for Williamsfield Schools

Tim Farquer is a Senior Advisor within WRI's Electric School Bus Initiative. His main focus is technical assistance for school districts. He assists with other pillars of work as needed. He comes from a family of educators and has worked in public education for 25 years. He is also the administrative lead for the Bus-2-Grid Initiative and acting Superintendent for Williamsfield Schools.

Tim holds a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Bradley University and an Educational Specialist degree from Western Illinois University.

He lives in Williamsfield, Illinois with his wife Nadine, sons Benjamin  and Cade, daughter Olivia and their various pets.

Jackie Hayes, Assistant Director of Contract Operations and Fleet for Boston Public Schools Department of Transportation

Jackie Hayes, Assistant Director of Contract Operations and Fleet, joined the Boston Public Schools Department of Transportation in 2020 to improve strategic management of Boston's transportation vendor, who oversees school bus operations and maintenance. Boston owns a fleet of over 700 buses across three yards, which transports 2,100 students each day to 225 schools, inside and outside of Boston. Jackie is leading electrification of Boston's school bus fleet. Boston successfully deployed a pilot with 20 electric buses in the winter of 2023 and has 18 additional buses on order for deployment during school year 2023-2024.  

Ken Martinez, Transportation Manager for Salt Lake City School District

Ken Martinez began as a school bus mechanic at the age of 21. By the mid 90’s he helped implement the first natural gas buses in the state of Utah. Ken advanced his career in pupil transportation from mechanic to shop foreman, then to fleet manager and is now the Transportation Manager at Salt Lake City School District. Ken was able to champion the idea of electric school buses to his district and in 2021 SLCSD received its first four electric buses, making it the first school district to implement electric school buses in the state of Utah. Now in the year 2023, SLCSD, under Ken’s direction, is operating 12 electric school buses with a sustainability goal of 75 electric buses by 2035. Pioneering electric buses in the state has allowed Ken the opportunity to share incites with others interested in electric school bus conversion across the country. His experience with electric school buses has been written about in many magazine articles. He accepted the award for The Small Public Fleet at the Green Bus Summit in 2022 presented by School Transportation News. Ken works closely with Utah Clean Cities and is excited to be an ambassador for WRI.  

Donnie Owle, Cherokee Boys Club Service Manager

Education: North Georgia Tech. Associates in Automotive Technology 1986

Experience: After Mr. Owle graduated from North GA Tech., he went straight to work at Mountain Ford in Bryson City, NC as a service manager and worked there from 1986-2006. In 2006 Donnie started his employment with the Cherokee Boys Club (CBC) and continues to work with CBC as service manager. During his time at CBC, Mr. Owle has been instrumental in transitioning the school bus fleet to alternative fuels like biodiesel. In 2007 he converted all school buses over to a B20 blend (20% biodiesel and 80% diesel), which is what the school bus fleet currently runs. Then in 2012, Mr. Owle and Mrs. Tiger collaborated and installed a biodiesel production facility that produces biodiesel from used cooking oil collected from the Cherokee Harrah’s Casino and other local restaurants. Donnie was the CBC project manager for the NC DEQ grant that was received in 2020 to replace a diesel school bus with an electric school bus along with installing the charging infrastructure. 

Gilbert Blue Feather Rosas, Director Sustainability & Adaptation for Modesto City Schools

Gilbert Rosas has specialized in energy conservation, emissions reductions and grant project management for the past ten years. His passion is seeking environmental justice for disadvantaged communities through electric school bus adoption and empowering students through sustainability initiatives and green career path choices.

In addition to WRI’s Electric School Bus Initiative Advisory Council, Gilbert serves on Generation 180’s Solar Advisory Council and the District Innovation Hub for the California Environmental Literacy Initiative. Gilbert has gained national attention with two of the fastest electric school bus deployments in California’s history. In 2020, Stockton Unified School District went from design to construction to buses arriving and charging in less than 11 months.

In March of 2022, Gilbert joined Modesto City Schools as Director II of the Sustainability & Adaptation Department. Modest City Schools is the 25th largest school district in California and is converting half of its existing bus fleet, while exploring funding options for full electric conversion. 

Kenni Jean Schrader, Transportation Director for Three Rivers Community Schools

As Transportation Director for Three Rivers Community Schools, Kenni Jean oversees a fleet of 36 routes covering 139 square miles, transporting 1500 General Education and Special Education students daily in her adopted hometown of Three Rivers, Michigan. Kenni Jean’s affiliations and accomplishments include a partnership with the Michigan Association of Pupil Transportation Pilot Team implementing deployment of the first electric school buses in the state of Michigan in 2019; the Pupil Transportation Operation & Management Institute Outreach & Communication Team; World Resource Institute Ambassador advocating and sharing the benefits of School Bus Electrification; and 2022 National award winner of School Transportation News in Affiliation with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Green Bus Summit. 

Kenni Jean’s passion and values are to challenge innovation and growth. Her core value is to develop strong foundation relationships in everything she does, both professionally and personally. She is dedicated to providing a safe transportation culture and value for students and staff, improving the environment in which students learn and creating goodwill throughout her community.  

Katie Tiger, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Air Quality Program Supervisor

Education: Bachelor of Science from Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, KS 2007 

Experience: Mrs. Tiger has been with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Air Quality Program (AQP) since 2008. She has managed numerous grants from a variety of funding organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), North Carolina Division of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ), Department of Energy (DOE), and Cherokee Preservation Foundation. Mrs. Tiger writes and creates the budget for the EPA Clean Air Act Section 105 assistance agreement each year and she wrote and received a grant from NC DEQ to replace a diesel school bus with an electric school bus. Katie Tiger has been a part of national organizations and committees including the National Tribal Air Association (NTAA) and the Tribal Air Monitoring Support (TAMS) center steering committee member and tribal chair. She has been a region 4 tribal representative on the EPA National Tribal Science Council (TSC) since 2010.

Share
Primary Contacts:
Jessica Wang