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St. Johns County looks to hire 25 bus drivers

St. Johns County Schools is looking to hire more bus drivers.
St. Johns County Schools is looking to hire more bus drivers. (St. Johns County Schools)

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – The St. Johns County School District is looking to recruit and hire 25 bus drivers as it prepares for a unique start to the school year in August.

“Transporting our kids safely to and from school is of the utmost importance. That’s why we offer our bus operators competitive compensation for a job that carries with it great responsibility,” said Al Pantano, Director of Transportation for St. Johns County School District.

The district currently has 289 authorized drivers.

That responsibility will look different this school year as the district has indicated that it will require students who ride school buses to wear masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The district said that with a recent 11% wage increase, full-time bus operators now make between $16 and $23.93 per hour. That’s on top of benefits such as the Florida Retirement System (FRS) and sign-on bonuses that can reach $3,000.

Pantano had been working with the district for years to increase wages for drivers in order to keep up with similar jobs that offer $15 an hour or more.

For those with a current CDL Class B with P&S Endorsements, candidates are eligible for a $3,000 sign-on bonus after 75 days of solo driving. Other candidates are eligible for a $1,000 sign-on bonus after 60 days of solo driving.

“One of the most exciting benefits that we offer our bus operators is that after eight years of working full-time for the school district, employees are 100 percent vested in the Florida Retirement System (FRS), which is one of the largest public retirement plans in the United States,” said Pantano. “It’s just one of the many benefits of being a SJC bus operator. There are so many positives to driving a bus, and we like to say that we are the driving force of education.”

St. Johns County School District’s Transportation Department is accepting applications for full-time school bus operators. Those interested can apply here.

Training programs are held regularly throughout the year. For more information contact Monica Thurston at monica.thurston@stjohns.k12.fl.us or call 904-547-8814.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the number of bus drivers the district was looking to hire.