Fayette bus drivers honored 5.13.09

Written by David Green.

Fayette school bus drivers are recognized this week during National Transportation Week.

“These are the people who get up extra early in the morning and inspect their vehicles before they start picking up students,” said administrative assistant Molly Graf. “We appreciate their willingness to take classes yearly and stay current on the laws and take an extended class they are required to attend every six years.”

Fayette’s bus drivers are Ryan Eberly, Carolee Hartman, Ivy Kunkle and Cheryl Shaffer. The van driver is  Wendi Wyatt.

Substitute bus drivers are Steve Hartman, LaWonda Keefer, Rodney Kessler, Jon Rupp and Rod Sommers.  Chris Hylander is the substitute van driver.

Drivers participate in the School Bus Road-e-o, a competition between drivers around the state to test skill levels. They have done well and plan to enter again this year.

According to a state ranking, the Fayette district does an efficient job of transporting students.

The formula takes into consideration the number of buses and the number of students transported on a daily basis.  The state rewards those schools that do a good job. Fayette ranked eighth out of 602 school districts in the state.

Fayette’s transportation system has the lowest operating cost per mile in the county. The average state cost per mile to operate a bus is $4; Fayette’s cost $2.97.

The other six schools in Fulton County ranged from $3.02 to $5.43 per mile. These figures were provided from the State of Ohio for fiscal year 2007-08.  

Fayette has three bus routes in the morning and four in the afternoon. In addition, a full time van driver provides transportation for preschool and special needs students who attend other schools. Students are transported to seven other school districts on a daily basis, including Four County Career Center. 

Approximately 670 miles are traveled each day for 250 students.  Last year, more than 54,000 miles were covered in the regular routes and an additional 13,000 miles for athletic events and field trips.

• Two Fayette School District bus drivers scored top-20 finishes May 2 at the Northwest Region Bus Road-E-O at Evergreen High School.

The Northwest Region extends from Fostoria to Lima to the Indiana and Michigan lines. This year 68 bus drivers participated in an attempt to compete at the state level.

Fayette drivers Ryan Eberly placed  11th and Rod Sommers placed 20th.

The Road-E-O tests drivers on all skills pertaining to driving a school bus. The written portion of the test ranges from general knowledge and procedures to preparing for a bus trip.

That is followed by eight other categories behind the wheel, including time to complete the course, turn-around, railroad crossings, student loading and unloading, offset street, etc.

The state highly encourages schools to participate and test the skills of their drivers.

Other Fulton County schools participating this year were Archbold, Evergreen, Delta and Wauseon. 

  • Front.F.school
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  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
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  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
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