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Showing Appreciation for St. Augustine Bus Operators During the Pandemic

Day in and day out, the St. Johns County School District’s team of transportation professionals work tirelessly and selflessly to ensure local children are transported to and from school safely. The job is made even more challenging during a pandemic. From assigned seating, safety protocols such as face coverings, and increased sanitation efforts, the duties and responsibilities of the transportation team increased exponentially. Just before winter break, to demonstrate their appreciation, Waffle House donated 500 breakfast sandwiches to the department.

“Our team of transportation professionals – bus operators, attendants, and mechanics – are exceedingly focused on the safety of children – especially during these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic,” explained Alfred A. Pantano, Director of Transportation for St. Johns County School District. “We are appreciative of Waffle House’s incredibly kind donation during the holiday season to show our staff how much we value their hard work and sacrifices.”

On Friday, December 18, 2020, Waffle House staff from the restaurant’s 2729 SR 16 West location, along with Waffle House’s Regional VP, Corey Pollack, and District Manager, Steve Berlofsky, dropped off the breakfast sandwiches to the St. Johns County School District’s Transportation Department’s Operations Center. All hands were on deck to organize everything and, with pandemic protocols in-place, bus operators pulled around the bus loop to grab their biscuits.

“We actually had some sandwiches leftover because Waffle House was so generous with their donation,” said Monica Thurston, Bus Operator and Recruiter for the Transportation Department. “I ended up bringing what was left to St. Gerard Campus, a nonprofit here in St. Augustine. It was amazing to continue to pay it forward – especially around the holidays.”

St. Johns County School District’s Transportation Department is accepting applications for full-time school bus operators. Training programs are held regularly throughout the year. For more information, visit www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/transportation/jobs or contact Monica Thurston at su.lf.21k.snhojts@notsruht.acinom or 904-547-8814.

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