Leander ISD Board takes action for key district support team

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Leander ISD Board takes action for key district support team
Posted on 01/10/2018
Superintendent's Column

Superintendent's Column

Every employee in our district is a champion for children. While families associate teachers, student support staff and campus administrators as having the greatest impact on students, every member of our 5,100-strong team can make a difference in a student’s life.

Leander ISD excels because of countless examples of our employees going above and beyond to benefit students. That includes the tremendous efforts of our Leander ISD transportation team.

We started the school year with 166 drivers for 211 positions. While we actively hired 33 new drivers, we experienced turnover that resulted in 35 current open driver positions.

Mechanics, routers and supervisors, including the new Director of Transportation Ann Hatton, who joined our team in August, work overtime to cover routes. Most members of our transportation department are certified commercial drivers; however, they have job responsibilities and skills for other critical areas in our transportation department.

The men and women who drive our buses are responsible for being the first smile approximately 12,000 students see from Leander ISD each morning, as well as their last memory from their school day. I have been impressed every time I encounter an LISD driver, who exemplify professionalism and a commitment to service.

While we are short on drivers, our human resources and school/community relations teams have been busy trying to recruit new ones through job fairs and marketing campaigns; however, the hiring push required a financial component as well. Thanks to our Board of Trustees, LISD increased its average pay rate for bus drivers to $17.78 per hour, matching the market rate for drivers and allowing us to be highly competitive with our peer districts. We are also launching some driver incentives and bonus programs.

As a result of our November 2017 bond election, we will open a second transportation facility across from Glenn High School in 2019. The new facility will reduce operational costs, relieve our single facility on Lakeline Boulevard near Running Brushy Middle School and provide the potential of being closer to prospective drivers.

Thank you to the men and women who choose to serve our public schools. When we can support our students as one community, with one purpose, for #1LISD, we can build a better world for our kids.