The following article comes from the Fort Dodge (Iowa) Community School District. It profiles one of the district’s school bus drivers and describes the fulfillment and flexibility that come with the job. The article is posted on the district’s website, along with contact information for those interested in becoming a bus driver. The author is Ashton Newman.
Fort Dodge school bus drivers play a valuable role in the life, education and development of the children they transport. They are the first in the district to greet students and the last to wave goodbye.
For Fort Dodge Community School District bus driver Kelly Moore, the job is rewarding and a great supplementary income.
“I enjoy getting to know the kids,” said Moore.
For the last 10 years, Moore has been transporting children to and from school. He has built relationships, given guidance and served as a support system for many students.
Moore begins his day at 6:40 a.m. As he climbs aboard bus 74, his responsibilities begin before he takes the wheel. He completes a pre-trip inspection by examining the lights, the emergency hatches, the engine, the brakes and the outside compartments. Once inspected, Moore heads to Otho, a route in which he knows each student by name.
After delivering his students to school by 8 a.m., Moore heads to work at Community and Family Resources in Fort Dodge. Only a short walk from the transportation garage, both of Moore’s jobs offer convenience and flexibility.
According to Moore, being a bus driver is a great paying part-time job that is best suited for those who hold another position that can work around the hours.
“It is something that gets in your blood,” said Moore, describing his career. “I really like it.”
Bus drivers in the Fort Dodge Community School District have been everything from Postal Service workers, Iowa Central Community College students, retired employees and even police officers.
At 2:30 p.m., Moore will prepare to head out again, first to Phillips Middle School, then to the transfer point at Dodger Stadium, where he will practice an evacuation drill with his students.
Moore reviews the rules and procedures with his passengers, asking, “What are some reasons we would evacuate the bus?”
Students raise their hands and respond, “fire,” “if we’re stuck on a railroad track,” “if we get in an accident.”
Three older students on the bus then lead the evacuation drill, helping students safely exit out the rear door and move to a safe location.
After a smooth evacuation, Moore commends his students on a job well done. Each student in the Fort Dodge Community School District reviews the evacuation drill twice a year to demonstrate the importance of bus safety.
Bus 74 then proceeds to Otho, where students return safely home.
“See you Monday, Kelly,” the last student says as he exits the bus.