Pearland ISD school bus driver goes the extra mile

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Sunday, June 12, 2022
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In the midst of a school bus driver shortage, this district's beloved transportation director is getting behind the wheel to share why he loves driving a big yellow bus.

PEARLAND, Texas -- Why become a school bus driver? To Pearland ISD transportation director Keith Kaup, driving a school bus route isn't just a job - it's a calling.

"As long as I have the ability, as long as I have the opportunity to, I'm going to be in school transportation," he said.

Kaup's original career plan was to become a high school math teacher. But after he started driving a school bus to earn extra money in college, he found another job he loved and an opportunity to serve his community.

"Once I started driving and started working with the kids and seeing those same students day after day, year after year, and develop relationships with the families, I knew it was something special," he said.

As transportation director, Kaup begins his day at 5:15 a.m. at Pearland ISDs transportation director. He opens the bus shop and makes sure every bus route is covered that day. Then, he grabs his keys and covers a bus route himself.

"Keith Kaup is an intregal part of our district," said Dr. Sundie Dahlkamp, Pearland ISDs Executive Director of Human Resources. "What makes him really special is he does go the extra mile. When duty calls, he's definitely the kind of guy that's going to be there. When weather is not at its best, Keith is the first one up in the morning, driving the streets of Pearland. Is it flooded? Is it icy? Is it safe?"

Kaup says riding a school bus every morning can help set the tone for a students entire day.

"As soon as the kids get on the bus, it just changes the whole outlook," he said. "You can't help but feed off their energy."

Pearland ISD is offering a job fair for anyone interested in driving a bus route on Saturday, June 11, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Pearland High School. The auxiliary job fair will allow attendees to test drive district school busses. For more information, click here.