Off Canvas Desktop

Off Canvas Mobile

SuperSelby Providing Safe and Secure Transportation for Decades

he Alumni Office had the pleasure of sitting down with Lee Selby, CEO of SuperSelby Transportation, to discuss his family’s place in the HM community.

For many HM alumni, riding on the school bus was an important part of their N-12 experience and Lee is proud that his family business has been able to provide safe, reliable transportation to HM students of all ages for the past 45 years. His family has such a longstanding connection with HM that you might remember Lee as your bus driver, or his father, Stephen, or even his grandfather, Murray - all three generations having driven for HM at some point in their careers.
SuperSelby’s connection to HM began in 1977 when a young Stephen Selby moved to New York with his wife, Sandi. Murray Rudkin, Stephen’s father-in-law, was employed by a bussing company that partnered with Horace Mann and was able to help Stephen get a job driving for the Upper Division in Manhattan. This was Stephen’s first job and, over time, he and Murray picked up more routes, and built connections with more and more HM students, families, and administrators. When the small bussing company Stephen and Murray worked for dissolved, the two decided to start their own.
Their company, which was incorporated in July of 1980, began with three buses. At this point, the bussing program at many schools, including HM, wasn’t very organized. Stephen and Murray saw a need for consistent, reliable, and - above all else - safe transportation options. The two utilized their connections with Horace Mann to establish a formal partnership. Interest in bus transportation was high and they pieced together buses and station wagons to safely transport as many children to school as they could.
Lee recalls that in the early 90s, they used to park their buses on 88th Street in the Upper East Side, near their first office. Parking the buses on a public New York City street came with a slew of issues and the office was robbed on more than one occasion, but – throughout the hardships – the family remained committed to their mission of helping students get to school safely.
Having experienced significant growth over the past 45 years, SuperSelby might appear very different compared to the original bus company Stephen and Murray founded, but the significant growth wasn’t the family’s primary goal. Lee says, “We just tried to provide a good service, make ends meet, make a life for our family, and create jobs. And here we are today – quite the American dream.”
Horace Mann is SuperSelby’s largest customer with over 1,200 daily student riders, approximately 50 routes traveling between all of HM’s campuses, and 350 Lower Division and Nursery Division students receiving door-to-door transportation.
One of Lee’s favorite parts of the job is his ability to remain connected to generations of SuperSelby riders. Lee has driven for all of HM’s school divisions and still has his Commercial Driving License despite no longer driving a school bus on a regular basis. One of his favorite memories while driving was when he picked up a young student and the student’s grandmother, who was waiting with her grandchild, told Lee how she had gone to Horace Mann and had Murray, Lee’s grandfather, as her bus driver. “Seeing the students you drive grow up is one of the coolest parts of the job,” Lee says.
Lee explains how much the drivers care for the students they pick up along their routes. Oftentimes, the drivers are students’ first and last touchpoints during the school day and the attitude of the drivers can have a significant impact on how students feel about going to school. He shares stories of drivers who go above and beyond to make sure students on their route feel
comfortable. During an emergency or when caregiver plans might change last minute, drivers have waited with students to ensure the student is properly cared for. Being part of the HM community in such a vital way is an honor for Lee and he explains how important this community connection is to him, his family, and his employees.

                                 Photo: Barry Mason

With its growth, SuperSelby has had to face a new set of challenges. Dealing with unpredictable weather, managing a large employee base, organizing hundreds of routes, and navigating road closures across the tri-state area all contribute to daily inconsistencies that have the potential to impact SuperSelby’s services. Lee has learned to overcome these challenges by relying on open and frequent communication with all involved parties and maintaining his focus on providing safe transportation with as few inconsistencies as possible. Lee says that he has a great relationship with Dr. Tom Kelly, Bob Forcelli, and other HM personnel involved in transportation. He frequently communicates with HM families as well.

All families of Nursery and Lower Division bus riders can track the bus’s route using an app. Lee says that it is natural for families to feel a little nervous when putting their children on a bus and having them travel (potentially) far distances to get to school. Lee says, “This GPS tracking and other forms of communication give families peace of mind. We want families to trust our services and feel confident sending their kids to school each day.”

Alongside the app, all buses are equipped with cameras, are well-maintained, and held to exceptionally high safety standards. Bus drivers undergo background checks and receive additional training with SuperSelby before getting their route. Lee wholeheartedly believes that his drivers are some of the best out there.

Throughout the country, there is a shortage of bus drivers but Lee says that SuperSelby hasn’t been impacted by this shortage since he makes supporting the drivers a top priority. Many of his drivers have been with the company for decades and Lee believes this is a testament to the supportive workplace environment and family-centered values core to SuperSelby’s mission.

Lee notes that while he is exceptionally proud of how far SuperSelby has come, he is always looking for ways to improve his services. He continues to be in conversation with Horace Mann about the school’s transportation needs and hopes to be able to expand his services to include coach buses that HM and other schools could use for longer trips. Lee says it is rare for a company to offer both regular school bus and coach bus services and thinks that this addition could be beneficial for all parties.

In the meantime, he is happy that he continues to be part of a family tradition of providing safe, reliable transportation to students. He is proud of the way his employees show up every day for HM students and is excited to see what is next in this long-lasting partnership between SuperSelby and the HM community.