Principals thank HISD bus drivers, attendants for their hard work

Before bus drivers and bus attendants set off to transport HISD students to and from school for the first week of classes, HISD Transportation managers and a group of principals showed their gratitude and appreciation for employees during a welcome back program at Key Middle School on Friday.

“As a principal and parent of HISD students, I have full confidence that when I put my children on the bus in the morning, you are there to pick them up and get them to school safely,” said Lindsey Pollock, principal at Garden Oaks Montessori School. “There’s a lot of people who can drive a car, but it takes a special person to drive a bus and without you, our children would have a very different outcome and opportunity in education.”

Each day, HISD Transportation transports 34,000 students to and from school safely using about 950 buses and traveling more than 87,000 miles. The department serves as the largest single district provider of school bus service in the state of Texas, with more than 1,200 employees.

“This was a great inspirational program for Transportation and sets the bar for others to follow,” said Wretha Thomas, head of Houston Area Educators Against Workplace Bullying and president of Houston Education Support Personnel (HESP).

Robert Chavarria, principal at Love Elementary School, says drivers and attendants have a direct impact on instruction simply by keeping students safe each day.

“The parents of our children give their gems to you each and every morning and afternoon and you all give them that confidence that they are in very good hands,” Chavarria said.  “Bus drivers set the tone first thing in the morning before students arrive at school.”

Also in attendance during the event included North Forest High School principal Richard Fernandez, Peck Elementary School principal Carlotta Brown, and Poe Elementary School principal Jeff Amerson, who all spoke passionately about HISD Transportation.

HISD’s Leadership Development Officer Alan Hooker gave a powerful speech that had many in the audience on their feet. As he shared his personal childhood story of being impacted by a bus driver, Hooker reminded drivers of the immediate impact they can have on a student’s life that may last beyond the daily bus route.

“You serve the children who will one day solve the problems and solutions that do not exist yet,” said Hooker. “I stopped by to remind you all that your names are tattooed on the hearts of kids and adults not just in Houston, but the people you serve that will go out into the world, so I want you all to be encouraged.”

The Transportation department also shared the 2015-2016 Transportation Attendance Incentive Program during the event, developed to ensure the district has sufficient staffing of drivers and attendants during the school year. Under the plan, HISD bus drivers and attendants will be eligible to receive an incentive payment for making excellent attendance based on monthly schedules.

Board of Trustees Assistant Secretary Juliet Stipeche also spoke during the event, reminding audience members that everyone is a part of one of the most important institutions for Houston’s future.

“Every single child has the potential, talent and ability to be anything he or she wants to be, [and] It is our responsibility as adults to open doors of opportunity to each and every one of them,” Stipeche said. “You are one of their heroes that carefully and safely takes them to school each day.”


2015-2016 School Bus Driver and Bus Attendants –Attendance Incentive Program

Monthly Schedule/Number of Days Absent*:

August – October

0 days: $300

½ Day: $100

1 Full Day: $50

November – December

0 days: $150

½ Day: $75

1 Full Day: $50

January – February

0 days: $150

½ Day: $75

1 Full Day: $50

March – May

0 days: $300

½ Day: $100

1 Full Day: $50

* Must be employed at the end of each monthly schedule to be eligible. Payment for employees starting after the beginning of the monthly schedule will be prorated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *