Meet Our Leaders in Student Support Services
Our student services division is made up of First Student leaders who work closely alongside behavioral experts, district leaders, and parents to improve each student’s experience. Developing positive interventions and accommodation plans unique to student needs offers a reliable system of support for students. Our student services leaders make it possible.
Head of Student Services
Co-Founder, Hopewell Transportation
Will McDermott is the co-founder and president of Hopewell Transportation, which has recently been acquired by First Student. Hopewell Transportation’s mission is to provide safe, reliable, and value-added transportation services to students receiving special education services.
Previously, Will was the Principal of Hopewell Academies from August of 2007 to August 2018. During his time as a high school Principal he identified a need for a new approach to Special Education Transportation. Will earned his Bachelor of Arts from Loras College in Special Education with an emphasis on Transition Services and Mild and Moderate Development Disabilities. He later earned a master’s degree from Purdue University in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Leadership Development and Special Populations. In addition, Will has an advanced degree in Educational Leadership from Lewis University. Will remains on staff at Purdue University in the Department of Career and Technical Education where he teaches classes in Leadership Development.
Senior Director, Safety Performance and Improvement
Laura Greene-Halley is a critical member of First Student’s safety leadership and FirstServes teams, and in her current role as Director of Safety Performance and Improvement, Laura develops and implements ground-breaking innovation, safety strategies, and sustainable plans for over 440 location across the United States and Canada. She has presented internationally to safety leadership coaches on becoming influential advocates for safety.
As a 2015 National School Transportation Association Golden Merit Award winner, Laura has been an industry-recognized driving force in student transportation for over 30 years. Laura has served two consecutive three-year terms on the Advisory Board for School Bus Driver Instructor/Master Instructor with the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Laura also holds numerous professional certifications including NYSED Master Instructor and Safety Leadership Instructor and Coach certified by Aubrey Daniels International and is Certified in Special Needs Transportation by NAPT.
Laura is an intentional role model, motivating others to become safety leaders and inspiring them to embrace safety as their core operating value. She is a passionate professional who gains personal fulfillment from ensuring the safety of our students, employees and the general public in our partner communities.
Dr. Susan King
Special Education Professor
Dr. Susan King is an experienced special educator, researcher, and professor based in the Washington, D.C area. Prior to obtaining her doctoral degree, Dr. King was a special educator in one of the largest school districts in the Washington, D.C. area. Dr. King has been an assistant professor at Juniata College and faculty member at The George Washington University. Her expertise is in the area of assessment, teacher training, behavior management and working with families of students with special needs.
Dr. King has consulted with public and private schools, served as an expert witness in legal cases, and conducted independent educational evaluations. She has served as the Chair of The National Advisory Committee for the HEATH Resource Center, National Clearing House on Post-Secondary Education for Individuals with Disabilities (Washington, D.C.) and currently serves as a member of the FirstServes National Advisory Board (Cincinnati, Ohio).
Dr. King is active in her church. She serves on the Staff Parish Relations Committee, sings in the sanctuary and gospel choirs, and supports a Christmas project for homeless children. Some interesting facts are she worked her way through college as an Umpire for men’s softball and women’s fast pitch softball league and ran cross-country at the University of Maryland, College Park.