The important role the school bus driver plays in a student’s life is sometimes overlooked, but in Limestone County, they are celebrating the relationships built between driver and students.
“I have been here long enough that I have seen most of them grow up, and I like to see them grow up and graduate," said driver Michelle Ezell. "That’s the best thing. I’ve had a couple of them graduate on me and it’s, I feel like they’re one of my own."
Ezell is about to start her 8th year driving for the Limestone County School District.
She said a big deciding factor in becoming a bus driver was the great insurance they offer, as well as the flexible work hours.
Bus drivers are only scheduled to work 4 hours a day, so you can have an additional job like Ezell does.
“I drive in the mornings; I go to work. I’m at work usually by 8:15 in the morning, and I leave around lunchtime, 1 o’clock. Come drive another afternoon route, and then, if I want to go back to work, if not, I’m done by 4:30. It’s great," explained Ezell.
The Director of Transportation for the district said bus drivers are the face of the school district: they're the first one students see in the morning, and the last one they see in the afternoon.
It's important they have drivers who can put a smile on students' faces.
“I like to play the radio; they love to sing. I love to hear them sing and they all get to singing together, it’s kind of funny," said Ezell. "There are ways I can get them in a good mood and get them home."
Now, that school is starting back, the district, and other schools across North Alabama are in desperate need of more drivers to perform this important job.
The Limestone County School District is coming up with creative ways to hire more bus drivers before the start of the school year.
Buses will be driving throughout the county until the start of school with a big sign saying they're hiring. The district is short nine drivers, and hope this initiative will help fill those positions.
The district says you don't need any previous experience.
What you do need is to:
pass a drug test
pass a physical
The district provides all the necessary training to get a CDL license and a state bus license.
If you're interested in becoming a bus driver for the district, call 256-232-5130