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drivers. “Go to the administrators and show them the data—that happy people stay. Having enough drivers means you aren’t paying overtime, and the buses aren’t late,” he explained. Cox urged, “There are just so many benefits to keep- ing the drivers you already have. Don’t take no for an answer. Explain the benefits.” When Cox was in the process of accepting his new


position, he made sure to confirm with the administra- tion that he could regularly treat his transportation staff to breakfast, lunch or an occasional treat, should he get the inkling the next time he’s shopping at Walmart. Cox stressed, “I need to do what I need to do to make this an effective transportation department. I firmly believe that setting my drivers up to succeed can change the results of the student’s education. Buses that are dirty, late or hot, isn’t the atmosphere that sets up the students to learn. It takes a strong transportation leader to make administrators understand that spending money on transportation is worth every penny.” At the end of each school year, Cox said he has made a habit of loading up several school buses with staff and


Bus drivers at Anamosa School District in Iowa regularly gather for meals, such as at their annual end-of-school-year party.


heading to a local restaurant for a relaxing meal. “The district pays,” said Cox. “I don’t believe in telling my staff that we appreciate them and then having a dish-to-pass [for donations]. That’s like saying, ‘Appreciate yourselves by bringing in food.’” Celebrating drivers publicly is becoming a common


occurrence on social sharing sites. More and more transportation directors are posting the good things that


7


www.stnonline.com 39


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