Stephen Barber - Image: SBF/Stephen Barber

Stephen Barber

Image: SBF/Stephen Barber

See all our School Bus Fleet Trailblazers of 2024 in this article.

Stephen Barber

Age: 38

Works for: Klein Independent School District

Role: Operations Supervisor

Describe a day in your professional life.

Barber: A normal day consists of anything from helping a parent with a concern or problem, ensuring that not only myself but also my drivers are upholding the Klein values and culture, helping present a bus safety show for elementary students, and new employee interviews. Those are just a portion of my daily life in this role.

What brought you to the transportation industry?

Barber: I had been working for over 15 years in a warehouse setting. My daughter brought home a flyer from her bus driver stating that Klein ISD was hiring drivers. After looking into the position, I made my decision to become a bus driver, which has ended up being the best career move of my life. Over the past few years, I have worked hard and moved from bus driver, to cover driver, then to trainer, then to the safety coordinator for Klein ISD transportation, and finally at the spot I am now which is operations supervisor.

What’s something critical that you’ve learned during your time in the student transportation industry?

Barber: The first thing that comes to my mind is patience. Obviously as a bus driver it is something that is practiced on a daily basis. As an operations supervisor we deal with a customer service aspect to the industry. At times, patience and understanding are vital to our role. I'm so fortunate to have a fantastic group of drivers which helped Klein ISD win “Top Transportation Team in North America 2023.” I know that without many of them, my position would present far more challenges than what it already does.

What’s your advice for someone considering a career in this industry?

Barber: This has been the most rewarding career choice of my life. I'm so glad that I found a career that I am not only passionate about, but that I love. Take that leap of faith. I never would of believed 10 years ago that school transportation would be the career that I would love.

About the author
Wes Platt

Wes Platt

Executive Editor

Wes Platt joined Bobit in 2021 as executive editor of School Bus Fleet Magazine. He writes and edits content about student transportation, school bus manufacturers and equipment, legislative issues, maintenance, fleet contracting, and school transportation technology - from classic yellow diesel buses to the latest EPA-funded electric, propane, and CNG vehicles.

View Bio