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May 10, 2010  |   Comments (6)   |   Post a comment

Drawn to a career in pupil transportation

Shane Kirley would often jokingly tell his school bus drivers, “I’ll drive today, you ride.” His passion for buses grew when he found that there are other people who are equally enthusiastic about them.

Shane Kirley would often jokingly tell his school bus drivers, “I’ll drive today, you ride.” His passion for buses grew when he found that there are other people who are equally enthusiastic about them.

CANASTOTA, N.Y. — School bus enthusiast Shane Kirley had what he described as one of the best experiences of his life last summer when he interned for two months at Canastota Central School District’s transportation department under the supervision of Transportation Director Carl Judd.

Kirley told SBF that he has had a passion for school buses since he was in grade school.

“I’ve had people ask me what it is about school buses that I find so interesting. I don’t have an answer for them. Most kids would’ve asked to go to Hawaii or something for their graduation present — I wanted to go to Blue Bird’s factory,” he added. (Kirley graduated from Canastota High School last year.)

During the internship, Kirley read the commercial driver’s license manual and then worked with various employees in the department to learn about school bus-related laws; filling out and filing paperwork; maintaining mileage logs; inputting student data in a routing system; how to use two-way radios; the operation’s vehicle replacement plan; and the process by which state aid is used to fund transportation for special-needs students.

“One of my favorite parts was learning the regulations that a school bus operation must follow,” he said. “I also enjoyed watching the driver training process.”

Moreover, the internship endowed Kirley with a better understanding of the transportation director position — it is more work than he imagined.

He said the internship also enabled him to grow and it is an experience that he will never forget.

In the future, Kirley plans to enroll in a course at Mohawk Valley Community College to earn a certificate to become a transportation supervisor, but he wants to gain some work experience first.

Cerebral palsy prevents him from being able to become a school bus driver, but it has not deterred him from pursuing his dream of a career in the pupil transportation, which impresses Judd.

“I have never met a young person who already has so much knowledge of the industry,” he said. “The requirements to become a transportation leader may be too stringent for Shane to achieve physically, but his effort and his determination will carry him far in our industry.”

“My main focus in life is to become an important part of the school transportation field. My inability to drive a school bus just forces me to find other ways of gaining the experience that transportation supervisors gain from driving,” Kirley noted.

Kirley is also interested in school bus sales and he has applied for a position at dealership in New York. “I realized I wanted to work in sales the first time I visited a dealership,” he said.

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GO SHANE! I hope you become a T/D someday!

Tatum    |    May 17, 2010 06:33 PM

Thats my cuz

Sean kirley    |    May 17, 2010 09:30 AM

I have had the pleasure of transporting Shane while he was in school and he is a very determined young man who has not let his disability get in the way of what he wants. You go Shane! You can accomplish anything you put your mind to. He has also taught me a great deal about buses and driving.

Cindy    |    May 14, 2010 06:57 AM

when i was young i was also fond of all kids of was my life dream to drive one ,i even dropped out of college just so i can get my cdl. i am happy to say that i am PROUDLY driving for w.l. roenigk inc, a school bus contractor in Pittsburgh, and way to go Shane, i am most certain that you will find your way behind a driver seat soon after you graduate

darius jones    |    May 13, 2010 07:30 AM

This guy is AWESOME!! The Blue Bird factory is a great place too, it's so clean and nice there and everybody is friendly.

Buslady7803    |    May 12, 2010 07:03 AM

Way to go Shane! You are amazing.

Deana March    |    May 10, 2010 04:09 PM

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