For the fifth year in a row the Alton School District has received commendations for exemplary school bus maintenance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Missouri State Highway Patrol. The school district received the awards during the summer, and the transportation department was commended by the school board at its September meeting. "A lot of times what happens behind the scenes of providing safety for our students isn't seen. We have a great group in our transportation department and they deserve recognition," said Sheila Wheeler, Alton school superintendent. The 12 school buses in the district travel over 1,200 miles a day, covering 493 square miles, many of which are gravel roads. Wheeler said, "It' s a challenge to maintain the safety of our buses in these conditions. But with our transportation supervisor, James Williams, and the drivers daily maintenance reports I know, and every parent should be happy to know, that our students are safe riding the bus."
Otto Deckard, who has driven the same route for 34 years, said that every morning the drivers perform a pre-trip inspection including steering, brakes, lights and engine fluids. With 65 children riding his bus, Deckard said, "Safety and good driving conditions are really important."
The current transportation department employees are: Supervisor James Williams; Millard Barton, Bus 13; Roger Bell, Bus 15; Junior Brown, Bus 14; Jack Campbell, Bus 4; Otto Deckard, Bus 9; Troy Deckard, Bus 6; Linda German, Bus 8; Lex Gray, Bus 12; Glen Jenkins, Bus 16; Jim Lynch, Bus 7; Robert Martin, Bus 3 and Joe Spoor, Bus 1.