CINCINNATI — Dennis Maple, president of First Student, will leave the company in August for a CEO appointment outside of the organization. Paul Osland, First Student’s chief operating officer, will serve as interim president.
“Under Dennis’ leadership, First Student has delivered visible progress across many key areas,” said FirstGroup Chief Executive Matthew Gregory. “I would like to thank Dennis for his commitment and recognize the significant contribution he has made to First Student. He leaves with our thanks and good wishes for the future.”
Maple joined First Student in January 2014.
“It has been a privilege to serve as the president of First Student, and I’m very proud of what we, as a team, have accomplished,” said Maple. “The business has significant potential for further growth and I know the First Student team will continue to build on our success.”
During Maple’s tenure, First Student realized a return to revenue and fleet growth by strengthening the operating structure and cost base and placing a renewed focus on process discipline.
In the last fiscal year, First Student earned a contract retention rate of 97 percent across the entire portfolio of multi-year contracts. For “at risk” business, the contract retention rate was 92 percent, the highest level in more than five years. This strong performance on existing business was supplemented by a strong bid season.
Along with strong contract retention and growth, the results were industry-leading in surveys of both customers and employees. In its overall customer satisfaction score, a key measure of customer sentiment, First Student received a strong 8.75 out of 10. In a survey of employees, 85 percent said they enjoy working at First Student, and overall engagement was 82 percent, significantly higher than the 70 percent transportation-industry average.
First Student continues to grow in a variety of ways, including acquisitions, the introduction of First Transportation Solutions, its consultative services product, and expanded use of the FirstView® District Dashboard and Parent App, with more than 350,000 students having access to the app.
Osland joined First Student in 2016 and is responsible for the overall day-to-day operations of the organization. In his role, Osland focuses on strengthening the operating structure and continuing to build an emphasis on process discipline. He has been instrumental in helping First Student achieve excellent contract retention rates, record customer satisfaction scores, and leading employee engagement scores.
Prior to joining First Student, Osland served as chief facilities officer for Chicago Public Schools. He will serve as interim president while the ongoing search for a successor is completed.
First Student is the largest school transportation provider in North America, transporting more passengers per day than all domestic airlines combined. It is a division of FirstGroup plc.
About First Student, Inc.
As the leading school transportation solutions provider in North America, First Student strives to provide the best start and finish to every school day. First Student completes five million student journeys each day, moving more passengers than all U.S. airlines combined. With a team of highly-trained drivers and the industry’s strongest safety record, First Student delivers reliable, quality services including full-service transportation and management, special-needs transportation, route optimization and scheduling, maintenance, and charter services for 1,100 school district contracts. For more information, please visit firststudentinc.com.