A Simple “Thank You” Means a Lot to Local Bus Drivers

February 13-17 is School Bus Driver Appreciation Week, and Marshfield Bus Service is celebrating. With 54 school bus drivers in the Marshfield School District, drivers are responsible for transporting students to and from school in a safe and efficient manner.

“While doing so they have to monitor student behavior in grades 4K through High School seniors,” said Duane L Nothnagel, Director of Safety and Training. “We also have five special needs buses that transport eligible students. We also transport students involved in various sports to their events and extracurricular activities.”

Drivers face many challenges in their work, including adverse weather conditions (many times buses are out before some of the plows, especially in outlying areas) and managing the personalities of a variety of passengers.

Fortunately, there are a few things everyone can do to make a bus driver’s job easier, the first of which is giving a bus plenty of room.

“The vehicle takes up a lot of room, especially when turning corners,” said Nothnagel. “It has been mentioned in past articles that there is a problem with buses being passed when the flashing lights are activated. Even if the amber lights are flashing, be prepared to stop.”

Along with being vigilant while driving, Nothnagel said that driver and parent communication is key to a pleasant riding experience for all.

School-Bus-Marshfield“With parental backing, some of the bus problems can be solved at home,” he said. “Sometimes the student does not want their parents to know what they have done on the bus. Parental help is huge in keeping some students in check. But we have to remember, kids will be kids.”

Bus Driver Appreciation Week is a good opportunity for everyone to say a quick “thanks” to a driver.

“Drivers really are not in this business for the money. They are in it because of the kids. So just a ‘Thank you’ is awesome. Words don’t cost anything and are remembered a long time,” said Nothnagel.

“School bus drivers have varied backgrounds. We have retired school teachers, police officers (active and retired), firefighters, business owners, and a host of various life experiences among the drivers,” he added. “We work hard to do what is right for the students and community. So again, a ‘thank you’ is appreciated.”

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