Donald Robinson

Donald Robinson

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There's a new man in charge of transporting thousands of Jefferson County Public School students to and from school.

Donald Robinson, the new executive administrator of transportation for JCPS, has been on the jobs for about two months, but he has not spent a lot of time in his office at the C.B. Young Jr. Service Center on Crittenden Drive.

That's because he has been making the rounds, meeting the men and women who drive the school buses and are now part of his team.

"If you see me at my desk, I'm wrong," Robinson said.

Robinson is responsible for more than 1,000 bus drivers and more than 70,000 students, but he said he is up for the challenge. 

"We are a vital part of the process of getting kids to and from school safely," said Robinson, who has a son in college and daughter in JCPS.

And that's why Robinson spends most of his days at the bus compounds.

"I want to meet the drivers," he said. "I want to meet the personnel."

Robinson started in late-August, and since then, he's met a significant number of drivers.

"It's in the hundreds so far," Robinson said. "I haven't met all of them, but I will meet them."

Robinson has continued a tradition of rewarding drivers who have perfect attendance, but he admits some of the recipients are a little anxious about a visit from the boss. 

"First of all, when I show up, they say, 'Oh, am I in trouble?'" he said. "No, we are going to put our arms around you. We're going to take a picture. We're going to say thank you for the great job that you're doing."

Robinson said, under his leadership, the rewards will continue, and he hopes to get some of the drivers in the classrooms for the Every 1 Reads program. The initiative is designed to help JCPS students get to proficiency in literacy. He believes drivers have a lot to offer in the classrooms.

"That's another way of connecting with the student," he said. "You go out. You read to them. You become a mentor to that student."

Despite Thursday's sunshine, Robinson is already preparing for snow or rain. He believes his past has prepared him for whatever falls. He's also a veteran of Operation Desert Storm.

"I've had the opportunity to work for Metro Government for eight years, so we were apart of the snow team," he said. "So actually, it's almost a seamless transition."

When and if there is snow fall, Robinson said he'll be out checking the roads for himself, but he'll have some help deciding if your children should stay home.

"I've been told that I would advise the superintendent of if the roads are dry or not," Robinson said. "So it will be a collective call."

Robinson said after he meets all of the drivers, he'll start doing ride-alongs to meet students and parents.

Copyright 2019 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.