Have you hugged a school bus driver today?
The DeKalb County School System is recognizing the outstanding job performance of the 30 plus bus drivers who transport students to and from school and school-related events throughout the year.
The official observance is on Saturday, March 18 but bus drivers will be recognized locally on Friday, March 17.
“We’re going to celebrate it on Friday, March 17 at the schools. We want to bring recognition to our drivers and show them our appreciation. DeKalb County is blessed with good drivers,” said School Transportation Supervisor Jimmy Sprague.
Bus drivers are the first contact children have with the school system each day and while their job is challenging it is also rewarding.
“We run right at 1,200 miles per day. We carry anywhere from 2,000 to 2,200 students per day. My drivers’ main objective is to get the children to and from school safely and we do that every day. We run 32 buses on routes. I have 32 drivers plus I have four substitute drivers including myself. I have seven handicapped aids who ride my special needs buses. I have two aid substitutes. These drivers are out in adverse weather conditions in the cold, rain, and snow. They are up before daylight doing pre-trips on buses. You can’t just get anybody to drive a school bus. They are special people. You don’t realize the difference they make in a child’s life just by being a school bus driver. They go above and beyond. They listen to the kids. They have a good relationship with them,” said Sprague.
To be a school bus driver, Sprague said one must have a commercial driver license and be recertified each year. “All drivers are required to have a CDL with a P&S endorsement. That’s not easy to get. The state comes out once a year and they do a recertification every year when we have our annual bus inspection. All my drivers are up to date. We’ve got good drivers,” he said.
Sprague urges the community to show its support for DeKalb County’s school bus drivers especially during this observance.
“If your child rides a bus say thank you to the bus drivers. They do a good job and they take care of the babies. That’s the main thing. To take care of these kids,” he concluded.
Employees of the school system's transportation department are Michael Agee, Danny Bond, Dwayne Cantrell, Shannon Cantrell, Shara Cowan, Debbie Eaton, Ricky Edwards, Marshall Ferrell, Julie Fitts, Tina Fletcher, Linda Fowler, Bill Fowler, Lynn Griffith, Orlando Guzman, Terry Hall, Darnette Hibdon, Melissa Hicks, Kathy Jacobs, Danny Jenkins, Dwight Knowles, Frances Lawson, Daniel Lawson, Donnie Lewis, Roy Merriman, Ronald Merriman, Linda Gail Pack,Jimmy Poss, Ashley Redmon, Myron Rhody, Jimmy Sprague, Carol Swope, Ken Taylor, Bobby Taylor, B.J. Thomason, Cindy Washer, Danny Washer, and Angela Wilkerson.