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School bus drivers needed in Washington County

Jessica Fuller • Jul 2, 2017 at 10:27 PM

Washington County schools are in need of several bus drivers, and school officials are on the hunt to find the perfect people to fit the job.

Special Projects Manager Jarrod Adams said the county is short about six drivers, and said it has been a struggle to fill the positions. Since Adams began working as the special projects manager in November, five drivers have been dismissed, and finding the right people to take the job hasn’t been easy.

“We have high expectations of our drivers,” Adams said. “We do background checks through the TBI to make sure (the applicants) are suitable to drive our students.”

Adams said that applicants who have ever been arrested for drug, alcohol or assault offenses automatically get crossed off the list of potentials, and applicants can’t have had any serious traffic violations in the past three years.

But some things on an applicant’s driving record are subjective, he said, and will be taken into consideration separately.

“If someone accidentally backs into another car in the Walmart parking lot, that’s different than causing a five-car pileup on the interstate,” Adams said. “If it’s something we consider to be minor, then that will be okay.”

The gig pays $58 per one-way route, which Adams said amounts to about $12,000 a year. Drivers also get on the school’s insurance plan after a full year of driving for the county. Adams said a commercial driver’s license is prefered but not required for applicants.

While the school system will provide the necessary training to get a CDL, he said applicants have to pay to get the license.

Applicants can drive just two routes per day or as many as they want, depending on how it works with their schedules. Adams said many of the current drivers are people with other jobs who drive school buses on the side for extra money, or sometimes stay-at-home parents with children at school, or retired people.

“If they're going to show commitment to our school system, then we'll be committed to them,” Adams said.

Email Jessica Fuller at [email protected]. Follow Jessica on Twitter @fullerjf91. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jfullerJCP.

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