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CKSD honors award-winning bus drivers

The Central Kitsap School District has some of the best bus drivers in the world, and there are plaques to prove it.

Drivers Melinda Knapp and Jamie Rhoten both were recognized at the school board meeting on Wednesday night.

Knapp earned a third place in the regional School Bus Safety Competition and 10th place in the International School Bus Competition last week in Minneapolis.

Rhoten is the reigning regional champion, according to Dirk Gleysteen, the district’s director of operations.

Gleysteen said the role of bus drivers can not be overemphasized, as they set the tone for children first thing in the morning and also have contact with parents on a daily basis.

“They are the first face the kids see in the morning,” Gleysteen said. “(Knapp and Rhoten) set the benchmark for their coworkers every day.”

The competitions include written tests and an obstacle course, as well as a bus safety inspection where bus drivers have to find pre-determined defects, Knapp said.

The district also:

• Heard information on a policy change to the excused absence policy.

• Approved a contract extension with the Northwest School for Hearing Impaired Children to service six hearing-impaired children in the school district.

• Decided to file paperwork to apply for federal impact aid, which is given to school districts that have students with one or more parents in the military.

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