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.