Dot woman wins Shattuck Award for work on school transportation; Nine others also honored

Delavern Stanislaus “on time” is the goal.

Delavern ‘Del’ Stanislaus, the director of Transportation for Boston Public Schools, was one of 10 people honored with the Henry L. Shattuck Public Service Award earlier this month. The awards, sponsored by the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, are given out to exemplary city workers.

Stanislaus, who lives in Dorchester, was shocked but grateful for the recognition.“It’s still sinking in a little bit,” she told the Reporter this week. “The Shattuck Award is a reflection not only of myself but also of the work the team in Transportation is doing. I know that I represent the whole team, so there are some positives coming out of the team’s work. Oftentimes, we get all of the negatives.”

Elaine Beattie, a senior advisor at the Bureau, said that Stanislaus is highly respected across city government. “She’s a fantastic person,” said Beattie. “What impressed me so much about her was her comment, ‘I am here for the students of Boston. Every day, all day long.’ And she is, when you listen to what people say about her.”

Last year, Stanislaus developed a plan to get food and laptops distributed to homebound students and their families.

“She really was the problem solver, on the front lines during Covid trying to make this work,” said Beattie, who also pointed to improved on-time performance metrics for school buses on her watch. She added: “She has brought new life into the department. “That’s a huge task, and also a very thankless task, because you only hear about the complaints and not the success stories.”

Stanislaus describes herself as “the kid who grew up in Transportation.” She began her career in the city department almost ten years ago and has led it for three years.

“A lot of the work that our team has been doing is turnaround and implementation of sustainable changes to improve transportation for the long-term,” she told the Reporter. “Areas where we’ve seen drastic improvement is contractor accountability. We’ve seen a drastic improvement in the customer service our team provides to parents and families, to schools, and to our constituents in general. The data has been showing that families are a lot happier with our communication even when there’s bad news.”

Stanislaus listed safety and timeliness remain major ongoing areas of improvement for the department.

“Despite the shortage of drivers this year, which really put a wrench in a lot of our plans for the start of the school year, we were able to pull off a better on-time performance than we have ever done over the past four years,” she said.
A proud native of Trinidad, Stanislaus says she is driven daily by a commitment to equitable access to learning for all Boston kids.

“Coming from an island where the expectation was walking miles a day to school, I see my work as making sure students, especially students in underserved neighborhoods, get access to quality education,” she said. “It starts the minute they get on the bus and stops the minute they get off the bus. Ensuring that they’re getting to school safely and on-time is my main priority.”

Other award winners include Manny Lopes, president and CEO of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center; Colette Phillips, president and CEO of Colette Phillips Communications, Inc.; Boston Police Detective Marivelle Crespo; Richard Depiano, second assistant collection treasurer for the city of Boston; Shekeima Dockery, operations manager for the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development; Patricia Finnigan, senior administrative assistant in the City Clerk’s office; Stephanie Haynes, administrative secretary, Zoning Board of Appeal, Inspectional Services; Rebecca Phu, director of Operations and Licensing; and Bradford Swing, director of Energy Policy and Programs.

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