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.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • 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.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. 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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