JACKSON COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — The backbone of the public school system is our school bus drivers, and they need help.
Jackson County is in dire need of more drivers in order to keep the students safe and drivers in top form.
“We’ve had a bus shortage going on for the past two or three years, maybe even closer to four. We’ve struggled to keep substitute bus operators in the sub-position here in the county,” said Rich Casto, Transportation Supervisor Jackson County Schools.
If you want to be a bus driver you must be 21 with a clean driving record and pass a background check, drug screening, and a physical.
“I think there’s probably a shortage simply because here in the state there’s a little training issue we have. You just can’t jump on a school bus without proper training, so there is a process that you have to go through to become a bus operator,” said Rich Casto, Transportation Supervisor Jackson County Schools.
“It’s a wonderful job. It’s not as intimidating as what people probably think. When they see a big yellow school bus they probably think of intimidation, not really sure if I can handle a big bus, but really once you get behind the wheel, learn to operate within a few weeks, you feel pretty comfortable,” said Rodney McDonald, Jackson County School Bus Operator.
The job provides all training and state benefits and even warms some people’s hearts along the way.
Some bus drivers say the best part about the job is working with the kids.
“You know, you have to have patience of course, but if you love the kids, it’s a wonderful job,” said Rodney McDonald, Jackson County School Bus Operator.
“The impact that you had with the students. They really become your kids,” said Rich Casto, Transportation Supervisor Jackson County Schools.
Jackson County hopes to see you all en route at the beginning of the school year.
If you think you are interested in becoming a school bus driver, you can find the application here: Transportation – JACKSON COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM (jacksonschoolsga.org)