Behind The Big Yellow
September 21, 2016
Waukee students are offered a multitude of activities offered to them, including sports, clubs, and choirs. For each game and competition, these athletes, musicians and club members are brought by a Waukee bus driver. The WHS buses transport over 5,000 kids to and from school every single day, let alone the number of kids they transport for activities. Being responsible for so many lives a day is a huge responsibility and immensely important, yet most people haven’t a clue who the bus drivers are. Although the bus drivers usually fly under the radar, it is important to realize that they are a fundamental part of students’ routines. They are people with families, hobbies and history; there are things to learn from them.
Embree Edgington drives one of the special needs routes on bus one. He has been a bus driver since 2001, but has been connected to Waukee long before that. His twins attended WHS and he became a bus driver the year of their graduation. He then became a member of the Waukee School Board of Education to become more involved in the community. When he became of member of the board there were only three buildings. Edginton joked, “I kept waiting for Waukee to get a growth spurt!” Presently Waukee has eight elementary schools, two middle schools, two freshman buildings, and soon to be two high schools. Before deciding to become a bus driver, he taught Social Sciences and Physical Education in the Boxholm School District and continued his teaching career at Stuart Menlo, currently known as West Central Valley. Once he retired he decided that he needed a hobby other than golf, so bus driving made the cut.
Al Scholes has been a bus driver for 13 years; Scholes also drives a special needs route on bus 22. “I’ve lived in the Waukee area for 50 years now, and I have two sons that graduated from Waukee.” Scholes stated. Scholes was also on the school board and served two terms. He explained,“I served as President of the school board for three different years.” Aside from driving bus 22, Scholes has been happily married for fifty years. Scholes loves his job, he suggested, “It’s something to do during retirement!” He loves being around the kids participating in ball games, showchoir, speech contests, band concerts, and other activities.
Jim Edgington (of no relation to Embree Edgington) drives bus 42 and has been working at Waukee as a bus driver for 10 years. Edgington is the proud grandfather of Waukee Senior Olivia Canelos. Before becoming a bus driver for Waukee, Edgington drove public transportation in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. He has a total of 23 years of experience driving as a profession. Edgington “[I] love people and [I] love my bus kids.” Edgington was part of boy scouts and earned his Eagle Scout rank, as well as participating in wrestling for a few years. Having been a student himself, Edgington wanted to close with some advice, “I would encourage students to hit the books because it will benefit them with anything they do!”