Some 23 million students get up each morning in America and catch the school bus to transport them to school. For the person behind the wheel, the responsibilities are great and don’t just involve the driving of the bus. Unfortunately, in many school districts around the country, including Quincy School District 172, there is a shortage of school bus drivers.

The District is actively looking for new drivers. I had the opportunity to visit with Dan Bartelt, the Illinois State Board of Education Certified School Bus Driver Instructor, and asked him just what is involved in becoming a bus driver for the School District. He told me that most people feel that they "cannot drive a vehicle that big" is one of the major reasons they don't apply. Bartelt said that once you get behind the wheel in training that fear usually goes away.

The other false claim is that they "cannot drive a stick". Today's school buses are equipped with automatic transmission and do not require the use of a stick shift.

School districts around the state are looking for part-time drivers who love working with people and who can work a split shift during the school year.  They are also looking for people who may just want to be a substitute driver only.

To apply to become a school bus driver for the Quincy School District 172, go to www.qps.org. You can also call the Transportation Office at 224-5910. Other school districts are looking for drivers as well. Check those school's websites for more information on how to apply for find out more information.