The Watauga County School Transportation Department was featured recently in a national school transportation publication.
School Transportation News included Watauga, along with districts in San Bernardino California and Durango Colorado, in an article titled Student Transporters Constantly Adapt to Weather Conditions. The article outlines how school transportation departments nationwide take different approaches to combat the various weather conditions in their regions.
Jeff Lyons, Watauga County Schools Transportation Director, is quoted several times in the publication discussing the challenges that Watauga schools have encountered recently. One of the items Lyons noted is how his department meets with their drivers at the start of each school year to give a refresher course on installing snow chains. The Department of Motor Vehicles in North Carolina also provides driver trainings and instructions on how to drive in bad weather.
Every school day Watauga operates 40 buses, traveling 2648 miles per day, to safely transport approximately 1679 students to and from school. The school system has buses and student drivers that travel roads ranging anywhere from 1,900 to 5,500 feet in elevation.
Garrett Price, Director of Communication for Watauga County Schools, tells WataugaOnline.com, “We are immensely proud of the work that our transportation department does every day. We place lot of value in the leadership of our transportation director, Jeff Lyons, and the hard work of our mechanics who keep our fleet running in road conditions that are often difficult to manage.” Price went on to add, ” We're also lucky to have such dedicated and skilled bus drivers who have the huge responsibility to make sure our students get home safely every day. Our drivers, mechanics, and transportation staff face challenges here in the mountains that would be unheard of anywhere else in the state of North Carolina and the meet those challenges admirably. “
School Transportation News is a monthly news and feature magazine serving the field of pupil transportation.