Kentucky Elementary School Principal Drives School Bus for Her Students Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
When the going gets tough, the tough take the steering wheel. The school bus steering wheel, that is.
Such was the case for one inspiring Kentucky principal who jumped into action in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic to serve as surrogate school bus driver. But for Janet Throgmorton of Fancy Farm Elementary School in Fancy Farm, Kentucky, it wasn't about garnering praise — it was just another day in the office.
Nevertheless, the acclaim did rush in, with many outlets from local television networks to NBC covering Throgmorton's story of stepping in to drive students to school during this most difficult of times. The pinch-hitting principal spoke Southern Living about taking on the unconventional role for a school administrator."My willingness to drive the bus is twofold. When I can drive for field trips it saves money for my school while still allowing learning opportunities for my students off campus. Due to a bus driver shortage at all times and an increasing one during the COVID-19 pandemic, my willingness to drive enables my school district to continue in-person school and serve students even when we are on NTI (non-traditional instruction i.e., virtual school). It's really all about what is best for kids,"
In addition to her regular stint of driving kids home from school every afternoon last week for the school's first week back to in-person learning, Throgmorton has been driving the bus for almost three years for field trips and subbing in the afternoons as needed. "When we can ensure they are in a safe environment, having social interaction, being fed, and given rigorous opportunities to learn, then we are willing to do whatever it takes to provide that for our kids," she added.
But for Throgmorton, helping her students in this way is about so much more than getting these kids from point A-to-B. "I value the time spent with my students and being able to serve them in this way. There's great joy in serving others and this gives me the opportunity to do that. It also allows me to connect with their families as I drop the students off in the afternoon," she reflected. "A smile and a wave seems to brighten our days in this cold, dreary winter. It also gives me a closer look into their lives at home and to see if there are other needs we could meet for the student and their family. "
Three cheers — or shall we say three horn honks — for this incredible school leader. We're shouting one giant "all aboard" for team Kindness.