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Osceola School District is Hiring Dozens of Bus Drivers

Carla Geigel is up before the sun to prepare bus 16004 for her students. Every morning, she goes through her extensive checklist to make sure the brakes work, the lights work, and that everything on the bus is running properly.

"We were empty nesters," Carla said. "I raised five children of my own. When they grew up and did their thing, my house became silent. It was a loud silence."

Driving a bus full of students for the School District of Osceola County is one way for Carla to fill the silence that now occupies her house.

"Hearing their chatter in the back, I love that feeling," said Carla. "It helps me to still remain that person or that mom that I am; taking care of them, watching over them, and making sure that they are safe."

At first, the idea of being a bus driver seemed challenging to Carla.

"I said 'I don’t think I could do that. The bus is too big and there’s too many kids,' but when they expressed to me that there’s training involved and that they would show me how to do the job safely and properly, I said 'okay I’ll give it a try.'"

After some thought, she realized it wasn't too much different from driving her children and their friends around town in a minivan. So, Carla took a leap of faith and filled out an application. Next thing she knew, she was going through 80 hours of training to obtain her Commercial Driver's License.

"My heart was pounding, I couldn’t believe I was actually at that wheel, but we did it," Carla said. "Once you get strapped in and you become part of that bus, it’s like riding a bike."

Now her favorite part of everyday, is welcoming her smiling students on board. She lets all her students know that she's so much more than a bus driver.

"You’re a nurse, you’re a person that they trust, you’re a person that they can talk to if they are having a bad day."

The stack of drawings and cards she's collected over the years are a testament to that.

"At the end of that year when I received those cards, I was like this is it, this is where I have to be," said Carla while holding a handmade card that reads 'You are the most amazing bus driver.' "From being a hairstylist, a vet tech, an insurance agent, a cashier, almost everything I’ve done, this was really something that I was looking for."

Carla believes that being a bus driver has helped her find a new purpose, and she believes it could help you too.

"If you’re looking for something positive to share with a young one, come on down, the school district of Osceola County needs you."

Director of Transportation, Arby Creach, is looking to hire 35 full-time bus drivers and dozens of substitutes.

"Bus drivers are the core of what we do in the school system," said Creach. "We transport about one out of every two students to class every day. Without the drivers, those classrooms would be about half empty."

The job comes with great benefits including holidays off, health insurance, enrollment into the Florida Retirement System with a three percent match from the school district, and a split workday. If you'd like to learn more or to submit an application today, click here.

Click here to watch the video of this story.