Driver Education Instructor Awards

Each year, ADTSEA recognizing excellence in driver education with the Richard Kaywood Memorial Award and the Teacher Excellence Award.

Richard Kaywood Memorial Award

Beginning in 1985, an award is presented at the annual ADTSEA conference to an individual for outstanding contributions to traffic safety. The award was established in memory of Dr. Richard Kaywood who served the Association and traffic safety education for many years. This award is sponsored cooperatively with AAA National Office who present the recipient an honorarium of $500.


Dr. Richard Kaywood had a long and productive career, beginning with his work in safety education as an assistant professor of health and physical education at the University of California at Santa Barbara. In 1955, he became the multi-school chairman of driver education in the Anaheim Union High School District. In 1965, he became an associate professor of driver and traffic safety education at California State University at Long Beach. He went on to become a full professor and coordinator of safety and driver education. During his last three years, he also served as interim chairperson of the health science department.

Dr. Kaywood was a charter member of the California Driver Education Association, later renamed the California Association for Safety Education, and an early member of ADTSEA. In 1959, Dick became editor of the California association's publication called the CALDEA Calendar. In succeeding years, he developed it into a nationally recognized publication, and, in 1970, it became ADTSEA's official journal called the Journal of Traffic Safety Education.

Throughout his life, Dick was a tireless worker and strong advocate for quality driver and traffic safety education programs. Dick Kaywood's life exemplifies the spirit of the words inscribed on the Richard Kaywood Award medallion: Outstanding Contribution — Driver and Traffic Safety Education.

The selection from among nominees is made by the ADTSEA Executive Committee and is announced at the annual conference banquet..


To better assure that deserving individuals are given consideration, ADTSEA members are encouraged to submit names of persons they feel made substantial contributions to the field. Each submission must be accompanied by a summary of the candidate's professional background and contributions to traffic safety education. Following is a list of criteria for considering candidates.

  • Made a significant contribution to traffic safety education on the national and/or international level.
  • Must have served the traffic safety education profession for not less than 15 years.
  • Must have been an active member of ADTSEA for not less than 15 years.

The summary of the nominee's contributions to the field of traffic safety education may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Scholarship — Masters or Doctorate degree
  • Leadership — Served ADTSEA in an elected or appointed position
  • Author or contributing author of a textbook(s) or Curriculum
  • Speaker/Presenter/Panel member at state/national conferences
  • Regional/local workshop leader/presenter
  • Researcher
  • Teacher
  • Authored research reports
  • Served on national committees or working groups

Nominations must be submitted to ADTSEA prior to December 31 and addressed to:
American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association
Highway Safety Services, LLC
1434 Trim Tree Road
Indiana, PA 15705

Past Recipients

  • 2023 – Dr. William Van Tassel
  • 2022 – Robin Bordner
  • 2021 – Nina Jo Saint, PhD
  • 2020 – Jerry Gaines
  • 2019 — Richard Hanson
  • 2018 — Connie Sessoms, Jr.
  • 2017 — Frank J Gruber
  • 2016 — Chuck Lehning
  • 2015 — Gary Guzouskas
  • 2014 — Lindsay Townsend
  • 2013 — Carol Hardin
  • 2012 — Randy Thiel
  • 2011 — Janice Meeker
  • 2010 — Dr. Dale Ritzel
  • 2009 — Barbara Brody
  • 2008 — "Micky" Johnson
  • 2007 — Dr. Allen Robinson
  • 2006 — Owen Crabb
  • 2005 — John Harvey
  • 2004 — Dr. Terry Kline
  • 2003 — Dr. Maury Dennis
  • 2002 — Fred Mottola
  • 2001 — Dr. Bob Gustafson
  • 2000 — Dick Tyson
  • 1999 — Dr. Gary Bloomfield
  • 1998 — Dr. John Palmer
  • 1997 — Warren Quensel
  • 1996 — Joe Intorre
  • 1995 — "Doc" Whitworth
  • 1994 — Carl Wenzinger
  • 1993 — Arthur A. Opfer
  • 1992 — Dr. James Aaron
  • 1991 — Dr. Francis C. Kenel
  • 1990 — Warren S. Hastings
  • 1989 — Dr. Richard W. Bishop
  • 1988 — Dr. Robert Marshall
  • 1987 — Amos E. Neyhart
  • 1986 — Dr. Norman Key
  • 1985 — Dr. William Cushman

Teacher Excellence Award

ADTSEA's Teacher Excellence Award honors outstanding driver and traffic safety educators. The Teacher Excellence Award is sponsored by The National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF), a strong supporter of driver education for more than 60 years and is in honor of Dr. Francis Kenel, a long time member of ADTSEA.

Dr. Kenel taught at the University of Maryland at College Park, Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois and Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. He also worked with the Illinois High School and College Driver Education Association. He was a Consultant for Brazil and Portugal, engineering their road systems, and traveled all over the United States as a Police Pursuit Instructor. The Teacher Excellence Award is sponsored by The National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF), a strong supporter of driver education for more than 60 years.


The National Road Safety Foundation produces and distributes, at no charge, educational films, teaching manuals, and public service campaigns for use by professionals in driver education, traffic safety, public health, and law enforcement. More than a million copies of the foundation's films and materials have been distributed nationwide. Based in New York City, NRSF was founded in 1962 by Fraydun Manocherian who, as a teen, lost two friends to a drunk driver.

Candidates are nominated for outstanding teaching and service to driver and traffic safety education by an ADTSEA state-affiliate or regional director. Nominees must be current ADTSEA members and active in their ADTSEA affiliated state or regional association for the past three years. Each ADTSEA state-affiliate may nominate one person for the TEA. ADTSEA members from states not affiliated with ADTSEA may be nominated by the regional director from the member's region. All nominees should be high quality teachers who are committed to excellence and deliver high quality driver education programs.

All TEA candidates will be recognized during the conference. Applications will be reviewed by the TEA committee, and those individuals who are determined to be TEA recipients will be recognized and honored by their peers and will receive a stipend and plaque from ADTSEA. In addition, TEA recipients will receive a special identification name badge to wear during the conference.


Each nominee must complete and submit the form Nomination for Teacher Excellence Award as well as a resume', Power Point program demonstrating their innovation in teaching, and written responses to questions. Signatures by ADTSEA State or Regional affiliates officers are required. Submissions may be mailed electronically to Harold Fleming, All materials are due March 15.

TEA award recipients are expected to present in one Secondary Division Session during the annual ADTSEA Conference by showcasing effective teaching strategies, skills development, and/or lesson ideas for classroom and/or in-car instruction that enhances the learner's knowledge and/or skills in driver and traffic safety education, promotes national standards in traffic safety, and/or promotes traffic safety within the school and community.

We hope many people will promote this activity and help showcase great teachers. For additional information please feel free to contact Harold Fleming, facilitator, at 704-995-7025 or

Nominate a person for this award

Past Recipients

  • 2023 — Gary Scott, KS | Sandra Dunbar, NC
  • 2022 — Jennifer Sletten, MN | Richard Kearney, VT | Thomas Iffrig, MO | JoEllen Suter, VA | Alex Hansen, WA
  • 2021 — Joell Kerr, HI | Karren Meyer, VT | Robert Suggs, NC
  • 2020 — George Rooney, VT | Jorge Benitez, NC | Molly Kleiber, MO | Tim Beckham, OR | Wayne Hartmann, IL
  • 2019 — Stanley Blicharz, VT | Darin Bardal, ND | Robert Droege, MO | Michael Jones, Sr., NC | Raymond Kroll, MN
  • 2018 — Kel Hirohata, HI | Andrew Unsuth, MN | Susan Carney Lammerding, MT | Dale Ludwig, ND | Richard Ritter, VT
  • 2017 — Cynthia Bagley, HI | Jonathon Dondoneau, ND | Allyn Workman, MO | Larry Fairclo, OR
  • 2016 — Judy Weber–Jones, IL | Yusuf Quidwai, WA | Becky Hardy, ND
  • 2015 — Greg Mangan, TN | Michael Pluta, VT | Rod Hull, NH | Carlos Stalcup, NC
  • 2014 — Carol Hoormann, MO | Beatrice Kehr, MN | John Viau, VT
  • 2013 — Christine Bergan, WI | Mark Hamilton, VT
  • 2012 — Gerald Apple, WA | Kevin Masse, VT | Richard Salboro, HI | Rachel Wilson, MI
  • 2011 — Barbara Brody, VT | Bobby Duque, HI
  • 2010 — Gay Ching, HI | Gerald Dickinson, TX | Stanley Henderson, IN | Kevin Kirby, WI | William Powell, NC | Fred Schreiber, MN | Michael Shepard, WA | Charles Worrell, VT
  • 2009 — Larry Fosness, MN | Sammy Lee, HI | John Lynch, VT | Charles Mason, NC
  • 2008 — Joe Barch, VT | Joe Barch, VT | Donn Davidson, MI | Gary Davis, NC | Romona Maxim, TX | Warren Hisashi Miyasaki, HI | William "Bill" Warner, OR
  • 2007 — Greg Brown, MI | Joseph Christensen, MN | John Duffy, VA | Gary L. Holobek, KY | William Mayville, VT
  • 2006 — Richard Hanson, OR | Mark Lee, MN
  • 2005 — Harold Lair, MT
  • 2004 — John Knippel, CA
  • 2003 — Debbie Cottonware, WA
  • 2002 — Lindsay Townsend, VT
  • 2001 — Chuck Filippini, WA
  • 2000 — Duane L. "Dewey" Mettler, MN
  • 1999 — Robin A. Bordner, MI