October 17, 2023 - “We have an amazing workforce who are doing an outstanding job and we appreciate everything they do,” said Robin Ray, transportation manager.
To recognize this work and coincide with National School Bus Safety week, Kenny Mulder, transportation director, and other transportation administrators hosted a pancake breakfast for department staff. For two days, they prepared food for around 200 bus drivers and monitors.
“We’ve got pancakes, pork and turkey sausages, strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream, orange juice, and apple juice,” said Mulder, who started his day making pancakes at 4:30 AM alongside other administrators.
“It was delicious,” said Rhonda Reed, driver. “I appreciated it and it helped kickstart my day before driving to Southview and South Tech.”
Many SSD drivers and monitors arrive at the bus garages well before dawn to prepare for their routes. Not only do they transport students to and from school, they are also responsible for participating in routine trainings, so they can safely secure students in wheelchairs, safety vests, and star seats, which have a five point restraint harness.
“There are so many elements involved in the training process,” said Ray. If a student’s needs change or if we have new students who ride the bus, drivers and monitors need to remain qualified. We have high expectations for them and they really excel at their jobs.”
Chisoni Calloway, Safety and Training Manager, says the breakfast is the least they could do.
“There is a shortage of drivers, so I’m very appreciative of the dedicated staff that we have. They play a huge role in how the District operates.