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Barbara DevendorfHeld during the third full week of October, National School Bus Safety Week is designed to promote school bus safety and address the importance of incident-free transports to schools.
In District 60, we partner with Student Transportation of America to provide all eligible students with bus rides to and from schools in their attendance area. Safety is the paramount issue for STA, which prides itself on being the nation’s premier safe, community-focused, employee-centric, and service-oriented student and special service transportation provider.
Bus transportation plays a critical role in the education process. Without it, a great number of students would likely experience difficulty in getting to classes on time.
With safety being a driver’s first concern, those who transport our students to classes and extra-curricular events also develop bonds that provide familiarity and stability: a familiar face that will be there to make sure the job gets done, day in and day out.
One of those drivers is Barbara Devendorf, who also serves as Assistant Operations Manager for STA.
“Being a bus driver comes with great responsibility,” Mrs. Devendorf said. “But the job also offers the opportunity to bond with the students. When I was driving regularly, if I knew a kid was having a birthday, I would have the whole bus sing to them. If they were having a program at school, I would go to it.
“It really meant a lot to some of these kids, who didn’t always have that support at home.”
Throughout the District, many STA drivers become very endeared to their young riders.
“I have drivers that really get attached to the kids,” Mrs. Devendorf said. “Our dispatcher, who is new, had a very hard time giving up her route. She was very particular about who took over her route, because the kids mean so much to her.
“Whether it’s at home or on the bus, it’s important for kids to have that consistency. And you really have to like kids to want to do this.”
STA, which offers paid training, is currently hiring bus drivers. To learn more, call 549-7217.