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Los Alamos Public Schools Transportation Department staff spin the wheels of the bus

LAPS Superintendent Jose Delfin speaks with LAPS Transportation Department employees, left to right, Delfin, Transportation Manager Keith Rosenbaum, Frank Marshall (School Bus Assistant), and Drivers Rosalie Hammo and Malia Goddard. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

Superintendent José Delfin, left, chats with Transportation Director Keith Rosenbaum. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

By BONNIE J. GORDON
Los Alamos Daily Message
[email protected]

When Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) Superintendent Jose Delfin interviewed for his job in January, he navigated the narrow, winding roads of the city.

“How do the bus drivers do? he said in an interview, “They must have superpowers! I have to meet them!

When he took office, one of his first stops was the LAPS transportation department where he met with drivers, school bus assistants, and administrative staff, including transportation manager Keith Rosenbaum.

“I was in charge of transportation in my old job,” Delfin said. “I have an affinity for diesel!”

Delfin expressed his admiration for the entire transport team.

“Keith’s people love him and he loves them,” he said. “It’s a very good team.”

Delfin pointed out that the school district is always looking for bus drivers, substitute drivers and school bus assistants.

It’s a great team to work with and they all get involved,” said Delfin. “Keith has to drive almost every day. He loves it, but with his other duties he sometimes needs to do something else.

Rosenbaum has been with the District for about 15 years.

“I like the interaction with the students and the employees,” he says. “I also like the challenge of creating the routes. This profession is my passion. It’s a fun place to be.

The school year started off a bit rough, Rosenbaum said. Someone hit a bus from behind and there was another fender bender type accident. But the main problem encountered by the transport department is that drivers do not stop to take the bus when the arm of the stop sign is off and the lights are flashing.

“We’ve had 50 stop sign runners so far this year,” he said. “We receive calls almost every day. This is one of my biggest concerns. »

In October, buses will be fitted with new cameras capable of filming drivers and their license plate numbers. A second violation can result in the loss of his driver’s license as well as a fine for each violation, Rosenbaum said.

Getting on board as a driver is not that easy. Drivers must obtain a commercial driver’s license and then complete 40 hours of training at the LAPS Department of Transportation.

“Once the training is complete, we want drivers to be confident and competent,” Rosenbaum said. “Our number one concern is safety, not just for students, but for the public.”

Pay is competitive and those who choose to work 15 hours or more are entitled to full benefits, he said.

Being a driver is more than managing the bus.

“A good bus driver loves kids and has a good sense of humor,” Rosenbaum said. “We are looking for people who can stay light. The best drivers are those who don’t have to drive the bus. They get to drive the bus!

Rosenbaum said word of mouth often brings in the best school bus drivers and assistants.

“People love working here and they let others know they can do this job if they learn the skills,” he said.

School bus assistants are also an important part of the team.

“We have five routes that transport students with special needs every day,” Rosenbaum said. “The school bus assistant is the person who has the most contact with the students on his bus. It helps students ride safely by directing them to their seat or putting them in their place; make sure they are driving safely; and redirect them if there is a personal struggle on the bus. The connections they establish with the students help establish a pleasant atmosphere during their travels to and from school. The contribution they make to the team is immeasurable and allows the driver to concentrate on driving the bus safely. In addition, the School Bus Assistant helps students with special needs establish a pleasant connection with the school bus throughout their schooling.

If a career as a bus driver, assistant or substitute driver might be right for you, Delfin and Rosenbaum invite you to contact Rosenbaum at 505.663.2255 or [email protected] to find out what it’s all about. Or talk to a bus driver about why he loves his job! Find additional information here: laschools.net/careers/.