Drivers 1

Rick Hovis, driver trainer and bull pin attendant for Hopkins County Schools, checks the oil in one of the school buses to make sure things are still in working order.

Supporting children’s education can be one of the most worthwhile occupations a person can have, unfortunately for local school district officials, there currently seems to be a shortage of individuals interested in that field.

The Hopkins County School district has job openings among bus drivers, substitute teachers, classified employees, custodial positions and kitchen positions.

Hopkins County Assistant Superintendent Damon Fleming said there is nothing better than supporting a child’s education.

“If you have a heart for children and you want to help children, no matter what the position is, it is important in our district,” he said. “It is important for our children to be in school receiving an education, and any of these positions can help do that.”

Ann Elkins, director of human resources, said they have been seeing a decrease in applicants across the board for several years.

“I don’t think COVID is helping the case any, but I do believe this is just a trend we are seeing,” she said.

Fleming said after talking to other school districts, the same number of bus drivers are retiring, but they are seeing fewer applicants looking to fill those open jobs.

“Not having those applicants to fill those positions has created somewhat of a shortage nationwide,” he said.

There are currently four permanent bus driver positions open, as well as several substitute driver positions, he said. The school district will work the person’s schedule and are offering a.m. only positions and p.m. only positions.

“So, if we had someone out there who wanted to drive, but maybe their schedule doesn’t allow them to work both morning and afternoon,” said Fleming. “We would be willing to work with them around their current schedule or the needs they have.”

He said anyone interested could meet with a driver trainer to go over their credentials and create an individualized plan to get them driving a bus faster. The speed depends on if the potential employee has their CDL license and if they have the school bus endorsement already.

“There are some mandatory training hours required, but it can be very individualized for the person,” said Fleming.

The time spent on the bus does depend on which routes the driver takes, he said.

“Some could be four hours a day, some maybe six hours a day,” said Fleming. “There are different opportunities. It really depends on how much a person wants to work.”

As for the classified and substitute teacher positions, Elkins said there are specific credentials needed.

Substitute teachers need to have 64 college credit hours and a 2.5 GPA minimum, while classified employees have to have 48 college hours and pass the paraeducator test, she said. There are other requirements, but they are outlined in each of the job descriptions.

“Usually, once we interview and hire for subs, we can have them working within 10 days or less if we need to,” said Elkins.

Fleming and Elkins said all school employees are subject to background checks through the Kentucky State Police and FBI systems, including the child abuse and neglect background check.

Elkins said the school district is a great place to work. They embrace the team Hopkins thought process and work hard to ensure they are providing the best work experience for all the employees.

“We have been voted the best place to work the past two years, and it truly is,” she said.

Fleming said there is an incentive program going on throughout the district for custodian, vehicle mechanic and bus driver positions.

If a current school employee refers someone for one of those positions, and that person stays on for an entire year, then the employee who made the referral will receive $500. If the person who was hired stays for one year, they will receive $1,000.

For more information on the jobs available at the Hopkins County School District, visit https://www.hopkins.kyschools.us/jobs.

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