Ivy Kunkle of Fayette received the Bus Driver of the Year for 2016-2017 in the State of Ohio. Ivy has been a bus driver for twenty years now. Her four children were what piqued her interest in this profession. “I had four kids in sports,” Ivy explained. “I thought it would be fun to drive to different sporting events.” Even though sporting events were her main interest, Ivy also drives students to and from school.
There are many positive aspects of being a bus driver. Ivy stated that one of her favorite parts of the job is being able to make a difference in kids’ lives. “I love seeing kids in different towns. They always say hi to me,” Ivy expressed her enjoyment for her occupation. In fact, her best memories stem from sitting in Zone with her fellow bus drivers (Rhonda, Debbie, Gene, and Ryan) and talking until school was out. She loves that she has made friendships that last for a lifetime.
As well as its good traits, bus driving also comes with some challenges. Ivy revealed that some cars will nearly run stop signs in an attempt to get out in front of the bus while others will run her red lights. Ensuring the safety of all the kids on board is Ivy’s most important job and she is always looking out for them. Besides facing challenges with fellow drivers, Ivy must also keep an eye on the students in the bus as well. “My first year driving, two students started fighting,” Ivy recalled. “One came to the front of the bus, grabbed the broom, and started after the other girl.” In situations like this Ivy is forced to take disciplinary actions to secure everyone on the bus. Parents do not always agree with the consequences set before their children, which causes more obstacles for Ivy.
All in all, Ivy loves her job, and everyone can tell. That is why Ryan Eberly, Fayette Local School’s transportation supervisor, nominated Ivy for the George Sontag Jr. School Bus Driver of the Year Award. The intent of this is award to recognize bus drivers who exhibit outstanding leadership and professional conduct in the school transportation field. The Ohio Association of Pupil Transportation (O.A.P.T.) reviews all nominations and selects their winner. Since Ivy received the award this year, she gets to attend a banquet held by the O.A.P.T. in Dublin, Ohio to be acknowledged for all of the work she is doing in her community. Congratulations again to Ivy for obtaining this honor!
Allyson Hutchison may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org