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New transportation leader named

Officials with the Colleton County School District have hired a new director of transportation. Gary Bradley has been selected to take over the district’s transportation department, meaning he will lead the district’s school buses and manage the daily school bus routes.
The decision, which was recommended by Colleton County School District Superintendent Dr. Franklin Foster and adopted by the school board, was announced to the public on May 23rd.
Bradley set to begin his role as director of transportation on May 30th.
Until he accepted the role with Colleton County, Bradley was working as the Operations Supervisor of Student Transportation in the neighboring Beaufort County School District. Bradley has also previously served as a general manager of Student Services for Durham School Services. “Mr. Bradley has seven years of student transportation experience and additional transportation experience working with the United Parcel Services,” said Foster, in a written press release.
Before Bradley was named to the school district’s top transportation seat, that role has been held by Terry Dingle, who was officially serving as the interim director of transportation for the past year. Dingle was named the interim director when the district’s former longtime transportation director, DJ Washington, resigned earlier in this school year.
With Bradley now being named to the district’s top transportation spot, Dingle is being moved to Forest Hills Elementary School, where he will serve as an assistant principal for the coming 2017-2018 school year.
Dingle has been an employee with the Colleton County School District for the past three years, according to a school district press release.
He has also previously served as an educator for 18 years. During that time frame in his career, Dingle has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and as a district administrator.
The Colleton County School District has been plagued with a bus driver shortage for the past three years, with the school district running an average of two to three double routes per day to get the district’s student to and from school.
The most recent report received from the school district has the district still short by about 12-15 school bus drivers. To correct the problem, the district has been hosting school bus driver recruitment fairs and employee fairs throughout the school year but has only received a handful of interested candidates, according to school district officials.
Previously, Washington told this newspaper that the district’s school bus driver shortage and transportation woes are because very few responsible candidates can be found. Washington said in a previous interview that it is hard for interested bus driver candidates to pass the background checks, and to go through the extensive training process. During the past six months, however, school district officials have changed district policy, allowing school bus drivers to be named full-time employees, meaning they will receive full benefits.

Heather Walters (1172 Posts)