CINCINNATI — First Consulting, an innovative service that allows school districts to leverage the expertise of First Student, the leading provider of school transportation in North America, has added three new senior principal consultants to help school districts simplify the electrification process. Kevin King, Steve Mentzer and Jason Songer are transportation industry veterans with vast experience deploying electric school buses.
First Student is the largest operator of electric school buses in North America. The White House recently recognized the company for its ambitious commitment to convert 30,000 diesel buses to electric by 2035, improving the health and well-being of millions of students and hundreds of communities.
King, Mentzer and Songer will be collaborating with school districts to assess, plan and implement electrification projects as part of First Consulting, a service offering of First Student. First Consulting can assist districts with grant applications, infrastructure design, hardware and software selection, charger and bus selections, site assessments, utility outreach and construction, and deployment.
“There are many considerations that go into purchasing and deploying electric school buses,” said First Consulting Vice President Leslie Norgren. “Kevin, Steve and Jason have the experience and knowledge to help school districts navigate the electrification process from start to finish, delivering a customized and strategic approach to modernizing school bus fleets and creating a cleaner and safer ride for students.”
King joins First Consulting from Bird Bus Sales. He served as EV sales manager and was responsible for identifying new opportunities to deploy electric school buses in New York State. King also worked to expand the company’s offerings to include all facets of the EV ecosystem. He has held similar roles at Lion Electric and NUVVE Holding Corp. At Lion, he assisted with the deployment of the company’s first electric buses in Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Mentzer brings more than 35 years of experience to his new role with First Consulting. He most recently served as territory sales manager for Lion Electric. One of his achievements was helping the company deploy the first all-electric school buses in Montana. Steve has also been recognized with the Innovations in Safety & Training Award from the National Transit Institute and the Safety Excellence Award from the New York State Transportation Safety Board.
Songer has expertise in electrification and school transportation operations. In his previous role, he was the territory sales manager/assistant director of sales in Southern California for A-Z Bus Sales. He helped the company steadily grow the number of electric buses it distributed and functioned as a primary consultant with school districts on fleet sustainability. Songer also served as director of transportation for the Moreno Valley Unified School District in Moreno Valley, California, where he managed a fleet of more than 275 vehicles.
About First Student
As a leading school transportation solutions provider in North America, First Student strives to provide the best start and finish to every school day. 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, fleet electrification, route optimization, and scheduling, maintenance, and charter services with a fleet of more than 44,500 buses.