2017-06-09 / Community

Transportation Department

Transporting the Community’s Most Precious Cargo

Lisa Gadway, Director of Transportation

South Portland Schools Transportation Department is constantly moving students, whether it is from home to school, field trips, extra-curricular trips or sports trips. We are running buses even on nights, weekends and holidays. Coordinating everything to meet the needs of our students is of course an ongoing challenge. The school year 2016 – 2017 was met with some of these challenges, such as storm cancellations that cause considerable rescheduling and bus driver shortages. We are happy to say that our transportation staff, made up of professional drivers, mechanics and office personnel, pulled together and went above and beyond to make sure students were able to get to their destinations. Our new bus driver training program has seen some success this past year. We have had eight people successfully obtained their bus driver license and are now working for South Portland Schools. We welcome our new drivers and appreciate the extra help they provide as spare drivers when needed. We will be offering our bus driver training classes again next year. We offer classes every other month starting in September. Anyone interested can contact the transportation department at 767-7714 for more information. Having the right training and skills is important to our staff. A number of our drivers and bus aides attended the Maine

Association for Pupil Transportation regional conference in April. They attended classes which included; Attitude is Everything, The Student Connection (connecting with your students), In the Zone (loading and unloading students), Rails, The Road and You, and State Law Review. The bus drivers also had the option of competing in a skills competition to challenge their bus driving skills on an obstacle course against other area drivers. Eight drivers from South Portland competed and one of our drivers/mechanics, Aaron Gant placed 3rd. Aaron received a trophy and now has the opportunity to go to the State Conference in July and compete in the skills competition against all other regional winners across the State of Maine. If Aaron places 1st, he will then have the opportunity to represent Maine in a national competition. We are proud of Aaron and wish him the best of luck in his next competition. Transportation staff members have worked very hard to make sure that they provide the safest transportation possible for our students and our community. Their dedication and hard work is recognized and appreciated.

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