Principal drives school bus due to driver shortage

Principal drives school bus due to driver shortage
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 7:11 PM EDT
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FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - Several school districts in our region have faced a shortage of bus drivers.

For some districts, it has meant students waited an extra hour to get home.

Donna Robinson is a principal at John M. Stumbo Elementary, and she’s one of the first to greet her students in the morning.

Her day isn’t over after class is dismissed. Instead, she switches gears and steps into her new role: a bus driver.

“I surprised myself on this one. I’m truly enjoying it,” Robinson said. “It’s given me some extra time with the kids, and I’ve been able to connect with them on a new level.”

When it comes time for an afternoon drop off, Robinson gets behind the wheel of a school bus to fill some of the gaps in a bus driver shortage in Floyd County.

A shortage of transportation personnel and bus drivers meant her students were arriving home late.

Robinson’s been in education for 25 years, but only behind the wheel of a bus this school year. She participated in training during the summer to become a certified bus driver in Kentucky.

“Last spring, we came back from the hybrid model, and some students were waiting an hour to hour and a half before they started home after school, so that was keeping them here longer along with teachers, " Robinson said.

She isn’t the only principal stepping up to help. Two others in the county have joined her.

Joe Marson, the director of Floyd County Schools Transportation, said there are still positions open.

“We’re currently still 10 drivers short, and that’s the beginning of a dilemma as people need off for various reasons,” Marson said. “Our crews have bent over backways to get our fleet back up to where it needs to be.”

While adding an afternoon route makes for some long days, Robinson says every minute is worth it.

Those interested in applying can find more information on Floyd County Schools’ website.

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