Growing up in Marion, my back yard property line determined I would attend Waldo Elementary from Kindergarten through sixth grade. That meant a 45 minute bus ride to school and a 45 minute bus ride home from school every day. My sister and I were the first kids picked up and the last ones dropped off. I’ve been told that I had to be woken up most days that first year when we finally arrived at my stop in the evening. And I still catch grief from my mom for getting off and leaving my sister asleep to ride back to the driver’s house before being discovered. For the most part, I don’t remember disliking the long ride because it was time to talk to friends and I really didn’t know any better as that is what I always experienced. I also learned some new information, including “new” language from other students that would land me in some pretty big trouble at home. I know my parents became frustrated with that sometimes, but they both worked first shift jobs that would not allow them to transport us. I’m also guessing they realized learning some of that information was going to happen regardless and they knew the driver could only control what could be overheard. Plus, my sister and I loved our bus driver. She was extremely kind to all of her students. However, she could also be very firm and clear when needed. Yet, kids didn’t want to give her a hard time because she was good to us. She would always greet us individually as we got on/off the bus, asked if we were doing ok if she realized anyone was upset, and would reward good behavior every so often. The driver knew every student’s name and everyone knew she truly cared about them.
I wanted to share this short story to emphasize the importance of how students are treated by school staff before and after school. When I arrived at Waldo Elementary, which has since been razed when new elementary buildings were built, we dropped off our coats and bookbags in hallway lockers and went straight into the classroom. I’m sure a teacher was assigned supervision of the hallways, but I only remember our driver between home and the classroom. Yet, what I see at Kenton Elementary School is so much different. For the families like mine, who put their students on a bus or have them walk, I’m happy to share that they are greeted daily by teachers and administrators with smiles and high fives when they arrive at school. They are personally welcomed to school with the staff calling students by name and even engaging in short conversations. A teacher holds the door for students as they enter and additional staff are there to help guide our younger students in the right direction. For those who drop their students by car, you watch Officer Bowman or other staff members greet your children daily with smiles and excitement for the new day. We have great students that attend Kenton City Schools who are welcomed each and every day by great staff members.
Lastly, like most schools in the state/nation, Kenton City Schools is very short-staffed when it comes to bus drivers. We will cover the cost of the training and licensure needed as we are looking for people who want to have a positive impact on kids. We are especially in need of people willing to drive after school trip routes for our various co and extracurricular activities. It is a great way to get started as the advisors/coaches are also on board to monitor students while you get comfortable driving. Please contact our bus garage or my office (419-673-0775) if you are interested. We offer competitive pay, but that pales in comparison to the knowledge you can have a lasting positive impact that helps shape our young men and women.
As always, Proud to be a Wildcat!