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Thanks to Aytes for helping with school safety

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I am a school bus driver for Roane County Schools, and I would like to take the time to thank our new director of schools, Gary Aytes, for helping to keep the children and bus drivers safe.  

I have driven for Roane County schools for seven years.  

At the beginning of the school year, Aytes was there to welcome us and let us know how much he appreciated what we did.  

He also came by a few weeks ago while we had our bus certification and did the same.

This is the first time I have seen our director of schools take the time to do this since I have worked for the Roane County school system.

Recently, when we had inclement weather, Aytes canceled schools or let them out early.

I really appreciated him making it safer for us bus drivers.  

I know a lot of parents don’t understand sometimes why school is closed or let out early, but you would really be surprised at some of the back roads we have to travel.  

Sometimes it is just wide enough for our buses to be on, and there are places that flood easily.

There are also places that the sun doesn’t get to, and those roads can be very icy.  

In the past. I have driven when it had been snowing and the roads were so bad I had to turn around and call my parents to let them know I couldn’t pick up their children.  

We have to remember, too, that we have inexperienced 16-year-olds driving to school in this bad weather.

I thank the school board for choosing Aytes.  I think they made an excellent choice, and I look forward to the other positive changes he will do for Roane County schools.

I hope other residents of Roane County will show Aytes the support he needs to continue to do a good job for our students, teachers, bus drivers and support staff.

Debbie Farmer
Kingston