NEISD bus drivers prepare for the first day of school

'This keeps me young and that's why I do it, I just love it.'

SAN ANTONIO – Northeast ISD starts class Monday and that means we will be seeing a lot more school buses on the roads.

Ron Bailey is one of the drivers behind the wheel, and for a lot of students at NEISD, he is the first face they see in the morning to start the school day.

“This keeps me young and that’s why I do it, I just love it,” said Bailey, NEISD routing specialist/bus driver.

He wasn’t always a bus driver, and he is not only a bus driver.

Bailey served in the military, then worked in real estate but once his three sons moved out, this early-riser started looking for something to do.

“I became an empty nester, I’m getting bored. I’m looking for something to do I’ll give it a shot, and that was about seven years ago,” Bailey said.

And being behind the wheel definitely keeps him busy.

“You don’t get bored, no more of that,” Bailey said.

Along with driving the bus Bailey also makes sure there is an efficient strategy every morning and afternoon to get the children to and from school quickly and safely.

"We schedule these routes to be able to pick up these kids the routes where they’re located,” Bailey said.

There are 415 buses and 300 routes with 20 ,000 students transported twice a day.

“They’re like a classroom teacher the day can’t begin for students who ride the bus any more than a class can start without a teacher,” said Jack DeForrest, executive director of transportation for NEISD

The buses can carry 65 students, though, usually there’s about 50 for Bailey, and he said there is never a dull moment.

“When we open the door at the first bus stop, those kids are grinning from ear to ear,” Bailey said.

He said a tricky part of the bus is monitoring everything through the mirror – but it’s a very fun and enjoyable job and he is excited for the first day.

“When you see those smiling facing in the morning and they greet you with that big grin and they’re so happy you’re there and you’re part of their day and then when they come back on the bus in the afternoon and they’re all excited, showing you their things, you never get old,” said Bailey.

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