Each school year, parents put their trust in the person behind the wheel of the school bus. They expect the driver to get their child to school safely and on time. Carmel Clay Schools’ first priority is safety, followed closely by timeliness, and the transportation department is searching for additional drivers who can get the job done. Thus, CCS invites those who enjoy children and want a fun career to apply for this opportunity.
“We are looking for dependable men and women with good people skills who like to be around kids, are safety conscious and friendly,” said Amy Beaven, Carmel Clay Schools transportation supervisor.
Bob Dyer retired from Simon Property Group and decided three years ago he wanted something to do, “I enjoy interacting with the kids on my elementary and middle school routes.”
“The first time I stepped on the bus to drive the children, I was scared to death. It was such a tremendous responsibility, but I love every minute of it. I’ve been driving 16 years,” said Ed Hollenbauch.
Susan Hughes started driving her bus while her children attended Carmel High School. “Everyone tried to talk me out of it, especially my husband Tom and sister Marcie, but I applied anyway. Two years ago, my sister decided she would become a bus driver, too.” Hughes is in her eighth year of driving and has enjoyed watching her passengers grow from kindergarten through middle school. “After I drive my route, I have the rest of the day and either workout or go to my job in the fragrance department at Macys.” Many drivers run their morning route and head to other jobs. Some hold positions within the school system, then take off in time to run the afternoon circuit.
In order to apply for a position as bus driver, applicants must be a minimum of 21 years old, must have or be willing to obtain a commercial driver’s license, and must be in good physical condition and good health. According to Beaven, applicants are required to participate in a paid training program, designed as a one-on-one experience that will take between two and four weeks to complete. The preparation includes honing driving ability, school bus maneuvering skills, and pre-trip inspection. A driver’s pay scale runs from $94 to $99 a day depending on seniority. (click here)
Pam Goodman has driven school buses for 37 years for three different school systems. “The kids in Carmel are wonderful, well behaved, and respectful.” When her husband retired from his job as an engineer at Chrysler, they moved from Kokomo to Carmel and she encouraged him to submit an application to Carmel Clay Schools. “I was hoping he could substitute for me when I was unable to drive.” But, Rod ended up enjoying the gig and signed on full time. The husband-wife team is one of several on staff.
“I looked forward to driving to the sporting events,” said Rod, who has driven for seven years. “I make an effort to learn all the kids’ names and their nicknames, and I honor their birthdays.”
Hughes credits parent support and appreciation as one of the key things that makes her job so rewarding. “I am carrying very important cargo. I know that, and the parents know we drivers are an important part of their children’s lives.”
“I get to go to places I never would have gone had I not been driving,” said Jerry Delp, who has been in the driver’s seat for a decade. “The field trips are neat. We travel with the band, went to Lexington for a baseball tournament, have been to the quarries in Bloomington, Kings Island, St. Louis; you never know where you might be driving the bus.” A computer randomly selects drivers for field trips.
Larry Wesner has been driving for 11 years. “There are a few rules that we all want the kids to follow, like staying in their seats and keeping their voices down so you can hear the road conditions and radio. But for the most part, the kids are really good and I have few issues.”
Drive times start at 6:00 a.m. and run until 8:30 a.m. The afternoon routes routinely run from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. “None of the routes are actually this long. It is the outside time frame,” said Beaven. Most routes are between three and four hours total for the day.
“I wish everyone could see what I see when I drive my bus,“ said Rod. “When I look in the rearview mirror to the kids behind me, I see all our future leaders.”
Learn more about the CCS transportation department, click here.