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Ensuring students get on the right bus and get off at the right stop since 2013


STEPHANIE WALKER | Transportation Coordinator Habersham County Schools | Clarkesville, Georgia


The joke around the transportation department is that Stephanie


Walker has been a substitute driver since she was 9 years old. In ac- tuality, her parents have been driving school buses for over 30 years, and Walker said she remembers riding along on their routes as a small child. She never thought she would end up in school transportation, but after working in local county government for 18 years, she sought a career change. Walker started as a bus driver, then moved to being a bus trainer


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SEE US AT BOOTH 104 56 School Transportation News • OCTOBER 2019


and working in some administrative roles. Today, she is Habershaw County’s transportation coordinator. She has become very passionate about her job and enjoys being able to visit with the students. Walker knows a majority of the stu- dents who ride the school bus and they know her. Walker also enjoys visiting the various campuses and seeing some of their riders. By knowing the name of her students, she can have a positive influence Walker added that it helps not only herself, but her drivers, carry out their jobs better. Her day starts early and encompasses everything from A to Z. In her


nomination, Kellie Jackson, a bus driver trainer for the district, said Walker expanded existing training programs and created a brand- new training series for the staff that highlights the critical aspects of student transportation safety. Jackson said Walker worked to find a solution to the district’s driver


shortage. As a result, now the district has no open driver positions and a lot of substitute drivers in the queue. The key to addressing the driver shortage, Walker explained, was to


match the training schedule with the applicant’s free time. Many driv- ers simply do not have the time and resources to stop working other jobs, then start training at the district for months on-end. To better schedule around the applicants’ availability, she worked


with Habershaw County district officials to make training time avail- able in the mornings, afternoon, evenings and on weekends. Jackson said Walker works diligently with each employee to help them, analyze their particular issues and then determine a solution. Walker describes her leadership style as team-oriented, because em- ployees best excel if they feel like they are a part of the team. ●


Taylor Hannon contributed to this report.


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