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COLUMBIA CITY â Speaking on behalf of all the bus drivers in Whitley County Consolidated Schools, Transportation Director Keith Kohut said the more than 750,000 miles traveled each year plays a major role in student success.
âAs an extension of the classroom, our drivers set an example for students,â said Kohut. âIn most cases, our drivers are the first school representative to greet the students and parents of students who ride the bus in the morning. A simple âhelloâ goes a long way to helping our students start the day on a positive note.
âAlso, our drivers are most likely the last school representative to see the students at the end of the school day.â
According to Kohut, the district has 42 regular bus drivers and five substitutes. Kohut applauded the drivers for going beyond their normal responsibilities of being punctual and obeying the laws of the road to make sure students are safe.
âIt always makes my day when I get a call from a parent regarding a bus driver going out of their way at a certain bus stop or to make sure the child gets in the house,â said Kohut.
Bus drivers are often perceived to serve multiple roles including guardian, teacher, friend and, at times, disciplinarian to those students riding the bus.
âWe are entrusted with the most precious cargo imaginable â the children of our community,â said Kohut. âOne could say that in no other area of education does any person accept more responsibility for the safety and well-being of our students than the school bus driver.â
Kohut is able to monitor the problems that may arise on a bus in order to deal with concerns from parents.
âAll of our buses have video cameras,â said Kohut. âI will pull up a tape at random and view it. Iâll look at whatâs happening on the bus. If I see an issue, Iâll bring it up to the bus driver. If I see things are going well, Iâll let that driver know.â
According to Kohut, school buses in WCCS transport approximately 3,000 students daily to and from home and on field trips, academic events and athletic contests.
For a more in depth look at this story, see the Nov. 23 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.