Anthony Wayne needs more drivers for the school year

Anthony Wayne needs more drivers for the school year
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:23 AM EST
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WHITEHOUSE, Ohio (WTVG) - Anthony Wayne Local Schools is yet another local example of a trend showcased in across school districts nationwide. There is a shortage of school bus drivers.

“This is a job that really needs to be done and we’re really in a desperate situation,” Judi Wilkerson, a school bus driver said.

Wilkerson is not only a driver in the district, but she is the On-Board-Instructor for new bus drivers.

She was one of several members of the Anthony Wayne Local Schools Transportation Department meeting prospective drivers at the department’s open house on Wednesday.

“Right now we’re just making another push to make sure we’re fully staffed and ready to move forward for the rest of the school year,” Brad Contat, the director of human resources for Anthony Wayne Local Schools, said.

School officials interviewed candidates for bus drivers and mechanics, having them fill out applications and even inviting them inside one of the buses.

“That was a part of our goal of having it here in the transportation department, so they could actually come, get in the space, get to meet the people that are here every single day and see what the environment’s like,” Contat said.

Contat said the district is hoping to hire five to 10 drivers and are looking for an additional mechanic.

Bus drivers are salaried, while substitute drivers make $20.57 an hour and mechanics make $20 an hour with benefits.

Wilkerson said the work schedule is a plus. “When your kids are home, you’re home. I mean when they don’t have school, we don’t have school,” Wilkerson said. She said she can’t imagine working another job and encouraged people to apply, noting that it is a job that makes an impact on students’ lives. “I think really a lot more people could be really good bus drivers than think they could,” Wilkerson said. “I think a lot of people would be really good at it, they just need to give it a try.”

She said the best people for the job will have an open mind, an open heart, and an ability to multitask and take things as they come.

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