ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Monday was back-to-school day for students and teachers in St. Johns County, and a critical piece of the puzzle is those bus drivers helping kids get to their classrooms.
But just like we’ve seen in neighboring counties, and even nationwide, the district needs more of them.
Phil Rizzo is now the assistant director for the Transportation Department in St. Johns County School District, although he got his start in 2018.
”I started here driving the bus. I like driving, driven all my life,” he explained. “But I like being around the children. My wife and I, as we raised our kids, we were always involved with the schools.”
Although he’s moved up, he still cherishes those memories on the bus.
”That’s the part I miss,” he reminisced. “Especially the elementary route, that’s the part I always loved to do. The little ones. They’re just thrilled to death to see you.”
And now, he’s trying to find other drivers who want to get their start.
”There’s signs around the buses, there’s signs around the schools,” he pointed out.
For its 237 buses on routes, the district has about 250 full time drivers but it could use 15 to 20 more. It could also use 5-10 bus attendants.
It’s the same trend we’ve seen in other school districts: preparing for a growing population, and for drivers taking time off.
”We’re trying to keep our staffing at a level to where we can anticipate those needs and then keep everybody on time,” Rizzo emphasized.
The district will pay you $13 dollars an hour to get your CDL Class B licensing with endorsements.
Depending on experience, the pay starts at $16 to $17.94 an hour with medical, dental and vision coverage, and enrollment in the Florida Retirement System.
You could receive a $1,000 sign-on bonus after 60 days of solo driving. If you have a CDL Class B with Passenger and School Bus endorsements, you could get a $3,000 sign-on bonus after 75 days of solo driving.
”We have some great bonuses out there,” Rizzo said.
For more information, you can check out St. Johns County School District website here: https://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/transportation/jobs/
You can also call recruiter Robert Curtis at (904) 547-8814 or email him at Robert.Curtis@stjohns.k12.fl.us
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