August 7, 2014 at 1:39 p.m.
Drivers achieving milestones in their service to the district were recently honored by the Hunt’s Transportation company, which has the contract to provide the district’s busing.
Driver Mary Laroue, of Wyoming earned “Driver of the Year” in voting by her co-workers. Larue is always available to help new drivers and she has good relationships with the kids she transports and with her fellow drivers. She too has earned perfect annual attendance many times.
In other news: Liz Lunzer took over as General Manager of the Hunt’s Transportation office late last week. Dave Webb is retired with 12-years’ service to Hunt’s.
Lunzer said the things stay busy again for those in school busing even over summertime. Staff have all earned certification in assessing drug and alcohol impairments and there was a week-long school provided in Hinckley, called “Train the Trainer” attended by several staff and put on by the MN Association of Pupil Transportation. Lunzer participated in special needs breakout sessions, while others attended safety, dispatch, mechanical and administration classes.
Each bus driver with Chisago Lakes gets 15 hours of training both classroom and on-board and is regularly evaluated. There’s a state written exam every four years and a MNDOT physical every two years.
Lunzer said drivers with exemplary performance are recognized and also get incentive pay and bonuses because; when drivers know their bus, their routes and their kids it keeps things running on time and makes the system safer all around. “We thank them all for a job well done, especially with the conditions of last winter,” she concluded.
There’s always openings for school bus drivers-- Hunt’s bus barn is located in Lindstrom, to the east of the Plastics Products building, in the industrial park. The general number is 213-2020.