Tommy Bolger, a principal at Wren Elementary School in Piedmont, South Carolina, has been driving his students to school due to a statewide bus driver shortage, according to local reports.
Bolger has been driving an hour-long route for the past six-to-eight weeks to pick up 32 students in the Anderson County School District, according to WIS10News. He then repeats the schedule in the afternoon, dropping off the students at their homes, WMUR9 reported.
“All our educators all over the country, we’re just doing stuff we have to, that we’ve normally never done,” Bolger said. “Our kids get to school early, they get home early, whereas before when they had to double up, they would be an hour late. Middle and high schoolers were missing instruction, and it would be an hour before they went home.”
Bolger’s time as a bus driver will end soon, now that another driver has been hired by the school district, according to The Charlotte Observer. But the experience has given him a greater appreciation for the district’s bus drivers.
“It’s given me a new perspective of what they do,” Bolger told McClatchy News, according to the Observer. “It’s an awesome responsibility driving a 40-foot bus [with] all the kids on there, and they do it every day safely.” (REPORT: Principal Sues For Reinstatement After Termination For Sharing Conservative Memes)
Students at Wren Elementary School have shown appreciation for their principal’s extra effort. “It’s motivating because if he can do two jobs, and if he can drive a bus, and drop kids off at their home, or bring them to school and be the principal, and do all that hard work like we can do something hard too,” student Summer Owens said.