She gets up in the morning before 7 a.m. hits the clock and heads out in the snow to the bus depot attached to the school board building.
She clears the bus up, makes sure it’s clean and she didn’t miss anything from the day before, as kids can be pretty good at hiding things in the weirdest places.
Nope. Everything looks okay.
She starts the bus and checks the time – 10 after 7 a.m.
She starts up the big yellow vehicle and starts to head out towards Summit Lake. She’s got plenty of rounds to make, and no time to waste now.
“I leave here at about 25 to 8 in the morning,” Ranell Posnikoff said. “After pre-trip and everything. Then I head up and pick my my first kids at 5 to 8 a.m. at the Summit Lake turn-around.”
Posnikoff has been a school bus driver in the area going on 17 years now. She has seen and done it all in her time as the driver, she says, but it’s always been a job she’s looked forward to going to each morning.
“The kids have always got something funny and new,” she said, speaking on the best part of her job. “They always come up with something you haven’t seen before.”
Posnikoff wouldn’t go into details as to just what these “things” are, as as she puts it, “that’s something you can’t put into the paper,” she said, laughing away.
After driving her morning loop and dropping the kids off at school, Posnikoff then conducts the post-trip check.
“There’s lots of mess,” Posnikoff said. “We allow the kids to eat on the bus, because there’s some long runs.”
Once she’s happy with the condition of the bus, she heads back to the depot and is off work until school is over.
It’s not the most consistent hours, Posnikoff said, but all in all she gets about five full hours of work in in a given day. She cites the clean-up and maintenance of the bus, as well as the trips themselves, as her daily five-hour duty.
But it’s not all sugar and pie, she admits. Sometimes, well, not sometimes she said, but every year there’s going to be some students that really test you.
Posnikoff said she’s heard some horror stories over the years, but she supposes her way of handling a kid misbehaving must be doing something right.
“I just generally talk to them,” she said. “There’s no real bad ones. And when they don’t take you seriously, you’ll give them a bus slip or whatever and hope the parents will talk to them.”
Reasons for talking to a kid is never really a huge issue, she said. It’s mostly for a kid not sitting down, or reaching across the seats. Small things like that.
However, this job more than anything has reaffirmed her belief that most kids are good.
“It’s actually not a bad job,” she said. “I don’t mind it. The kids are good. They’re pleasant. You say good morning and they say good morning back.”
Posnikoff said she plans on driving the bus for many more years to come if she has it her way. And hopefully she does.
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