City schools’ transportation chief wins award

Staff report


Jeff Vrabel Sr., chief of transportation for Youngstown City Schools, has received the 2012 Foundation For School Business Management’s Outstanding Transportation Director of the Year award, The Ohio Association of School Business Officials has announced

The awards program, in its 27th year, was created by OASBO’s foundation to recognize the accomplishments of Ohio’s public school business officials for their service to their school system, community and profession.

The foundation award provides a $500 college scholarship for a high school senior, sponsored by American Fidelity Assurance Co.

Vrabel completed 15 years of service to the Columbiana County Educational Service Center and community before accepting his current position at the Youngstown City School District. At the ESC, he spearheaded several initiatives to streamline operations, including: computerizing the routing system to improve efficiency, writing grants for federal funding, updating communication devices, implementing a recycling program and training and evaluating bus drivers.

A member of OASBO, Vrabel has been a member of its Professional Development Strategic Planning Committee, helping to create professional development programs for all school business officials in Ohio.

Vrabel is active on transportation association boards, currently serving as president-elect of the Ohio Association for Pupil Transportation. He is past president of Columbiana County Transportation Supervisors Association, a member of the National Association for Pupil Transportation, former member of the Ohio Department of Education’s Parent Advisory Council and served on the review team for the second submission of the Race to the Top grant, which was accepted.

Vrabel is a commander for the Sons of the American Legion, and for the past three years, he has been chairman of the Memorial Day Parade and ceremonies in Poland. In 2011, he was named the Citizen of the Year for service to Veterans and Americanism by the United Veterans Council of Greater Youngstown.

A sports enthusiast, Vrabel is an NCAA football referee for the Presidents Athletic Conference and also referees high school football and basketball. He has served many youth sports associations as a board member, manager, coach, umpire, public relations and assistant tournament director. He also volunteers for the Special Olympics.

OASBO’s Executive Director David Varda stated, “Our members are the key players responsible annually for millions of public dollars within school districts. Their successes and contributions to their profession, their districts and their communities are often a well-kept secret, so we’re excited to be able to formally recognize them through this awards program. We’re also very pleased that these awards give back — providing college scholarships for students.”

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