36° Good Morning
36° Good Morning

Great kids, great times on a school bus

A student at Indian Lake Elementary in Kalamazoo,

A student at Indian Lake Elementary in Kalamazoo, Mich., boards a bus on the first day of school, Sept. 4, 2012. Credit: AP

In “Worries at the wheel of a school bus” [Expressway, Feb. 19], reader Brian McGowan wondered why anyone would take that job.

My experience of driving a school bus for 11 years was positive. I miss the kids terribly, along with the pay. It wasn’t great, but was substantial for a retiree. Drivers for private companies collect unemployment insurance when school is closed — a nice perk in the summer and during the Christmas week and spring break.

I had only one disruptive high school student, and I really couldn’t blame him much. He was on the bus three hours a day, which is asking a lot from a teenager. I had discussions with kindergartners that had me in stitches many times.

Middle school kids were my favorites. They were full of life, and when you established a relationship with them, there was mutual respect and friendship. At the end of the school year, many students and parents asked me to return.

I enjoyed my previous jobs, but driving a school bus was definitely special.

Russell LaKusta,Port Jefferson Station