The week of Feb. 12-16 is North Carolina’s School Bus Driver Appreciation Week, and each day one of our dedicated drivers will be introduced to the HCPS family.
Every weekday, Kerrie Gosnell starts bus #252 by 6:10 a.m., drives an hour and a half picking up Etowah Elementary students, and is back to school by 7:40 a.m. And many days, she’s in the classroom with the same students who just rode her bus.
A substitute teacher and bus driver for the past seven years, Gosnell said that on days she’s both driving and teaching, it’s a quick turnaround.
“I usually make a pit stop,” for a Mt. Dew or a coffee, she said.
And then she’s going over math problems, working on guided reading, or fielding questions from elementary students – who are sometimes surprised to see their bus driver in their classroom.
“The kids are surprised when you’re in different places,” Gosnell said, “That’s always funny, to see their reactions.”
Gosnell said she loves being around students all day – which is part of why she began substitute teaching shortly after her youngest child was born. With a background in accounting, Gosnell wanted to get back into the workforce but appreciated the relatively open schedule of a substitute teaching position. She initially subbed at West Henderson High and Rugby Middle in addition to Etowah, but when she decided to add bus driving into the mix, she needed to be able to drive morning routes for the same school at which she’d be teaching.
So now Gosnell is the bus-driving substitute Etowah superstar.
“She does a little bit of everything,” said 5th grade teacher Nicole Riddle. “Teacher assistant stuff, sub stuff, volunteer stuff, bus driver stuff.”
Riddle said Gosnell is a helpful peer to have across the hall when it comes to conceptualizing a project or a plan.
“If I don’t know something I ask Kerrie,” Riddle said. “And if she doesn’t know the answer she’s always willing to brainstorm an alternative. She’s a problem solver.”
– By Molly McGowan Gorsuch
Public Information Officer