November 2021 Transportation Department Employee Spotlight - Janie Gates
As part of the monthly report to our Board of Education, Transportation Director Jim Slapper has started including an employee spotlight. We are excited also to be featuring these employees on our website and social media.
For November 2021, Mr. Slapper is featuring one of our most experienced drivers, Ms. Janie Gates.
"Janie Gates has been driving a school bus for the Lansing School District for the last 43 years. She began driving in 1978. During that time, Janie has seen at least four bus contractors come and go from Lansing. When she first started, the pay was only $300 a month, and they only had about 15 buses. All students rode the same bus, and there were no Special Needs buses at that time. In 1995 Janie began driving a special needs bus.
When I asked her why she has stayed a bus driver, her response was, 'Driving a school bus was the perfect job for me. It allowed me to be able to raise my family by bringing my children along with me to work.' Several years ago, Janie was nominated by a Lansing family for the FOX 4 Pay It Forward Award. Janie had gone above and beyond to help this family. They were so thankful to her that they nominated her for this award. FOX 4 News came out to our Transportation Department and surprised her with a $300 check.
Janie still keeps in touch with many of the students that she has driven over the years. Janie is very well-liked by all her co-workers, students, and families. I have never heard anyone say anything but good things about Janie."
If you see Ms. Gates driving one of our buses, be sure to thank her for her outstanding work in Lansing USD469!