Smooth trips: Caldwell Co. transportation team celebrates year of no accidents, no major mechanical woes; bus chief: trainers, mechanics, drivers draw salutes

Times-Leader, Princeton, June 25, 2016

Safe travels... School buses navigate year ‘wreck’lessly
Staff report

Bus drivers in the Caldwell County School District achieved a milestone in the 2015-16 school year — no wrecks.

Transportation Director Jimmy Dyer noted the accomplishment this week in a report to the Caldwell County Board of Education.

The district’s fleet also made it through the year without major mechanical issues, he told the board.

“Everything that went wrong seemed to be minor,” Dyer said.

Student bus write-ups for behavior issues also declined by 10 percent during the year. The transportation director told the board that that issue had been the transportation department’s growth area for the year.

Dyer praised the district’s bus drivers for their dedication to the job.

The district had a driver attendance rate of 97 percent for the year.

Three drivers, he noted, delayed scheduled surgeries until after the school year ended so they could finish the year.

“My drivers seem to love their job,” he said. “If they can be there, they’re there.”

Dyer also commended the district’s bus driver trainers, Ricky Cotton, Jeff Harper and Frank Brown, for their work.

“They’re still knocking home runs for us,” he told the board.

Seven drivers are currently in training now.

The district’s mechanics and technicians also drew praise, including Head Technician Bob Waters, who was honored this week as head technician of the year by the Kentucky Association of Pupil Transportation.

Dyer noted multiple occasions during the year when buses from other districts broke down while traveling through the county and received assistance and repairs from the local crew.

“You’d be surprised how often that happens in our county,” Superintendent Carrell Boyd told the board.

“That’s a source of pride for us, to know we’ve got people that’ll drop whatever they’re doing to go lend a hand,” he said.

Drivers in the district also depend on other districts’ garages and staff to help when issues arise during travels out of the county, he added.

The district ran 31 morning and afternoon routes during the year, transporting about 2,500 students and making about 1,000 daily stops on average, Dyer reported.

Other action

In other business Monday:
• The board approved a 10-day trip to Italy and Greece during spring break of 2018 for selected local students and chaperones.
• Two buses were declared surplus property and approved for disposal.
• Two overnight trip requests were approved.
• The board formally declared seniors in the CCHS Class of 2016 as graduates.
• Jana Hodge, Tammy Easley and Marc Wells were reappointed as board secretary, treasurer and attorney, respectively.
• The board approved continuation in the West Kentucky Educational Cooperative for 2016-17.
• The following personnel action was acknowledged:
Employed: Crystal Aldridge, substitute paraeducator; Kaleb Dyer and Cameron Warfield, temporary summer student workers; Stefanie Hicks, substitute teacher and substitute paraeducator; Brandon Hughes, bus driver; Christina Nichols, health services assistant (itinerant), CCPS; Jalynn Rowland, guidance counselor, CCES; Brock Thomas, substitute teacher and bus driver; and Shawniece White, cook/baker, CCPS.
Resignations: Nichelle Faughn, English teacher, CCHS; Corey McEnaney, math teacher, CCHS; Elizabeth McKeehan, Spanish teacher, CCHS; Shawniece White, substitute cook/baker.
Assignments: Christy Beller, paraeducator, CCES; Andrea Asher, paraeducator, CCMS.
Transfers: Jerry Holeman, from second shift to first shift custodian, CCES; David McDowell, special education paraeducator, from CCES to CCMS.
Extra service: Daniel Childress, CCMS boys head soccer coach (resigned); Matthew Harper, CCHS assistant boys soccer coach (hired); Elizabeth McKeehan, CCHS Spanish department head (resigned).
• The board’s next meeting is set for 7 p.m. Monday, July 18, in the Butler auditorium.

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