Donald Arndt has seen many changes during his career, including an increase in the amount of material students carry in their backpacks. “They have to lean into the wind to carry it!” he said, laughing.
MARION, Wis. — After high school, Donald Arndt ran a gas station and a service station. His work as a technician ultimately landed him a 50-year career as a bus driver for the School District of Marion.
“The district’s buses were brought to the dealerships where they were purchased to be serviced, but it got to be inconvenient. The district thought it would be better if they could centralize it and have one person do all of the maintenance,” Arndt explained to SBF. “The school board members approached me and asked me if I could maintain the buses. That’s how it mushroomed.”
While he was doing vehicle maintenance, a bus driver position opened, and Arndt took the opportunity.
Arndt has found his years as a technician and bus driver for the School District of Marion fulfilling.
“I’ve enjoyed it, as every day was a new challenge,” he said. “I have worked with good transportation managers and bus drivers, and that makes it so much nicer. I would do it all over.”
Arndt celebrated his 50 years with the district in June, along with another milestone: His 50th wedding anniversary with his wife, Judy.
Although he’s worked in pupil transportation for 50 years, Arndt isn’t ready to leave the industry completely.
“I’m slowing down, so next year I’ll just help out,” he said. “My son is a mechanic for the district, and he’s taken over a lot of the things I used to do. I plan on helping him with the light stuff and paperwork. I have to have something to do!”