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Riley Arnold, right, exits Lea's bus near her home at the end of the school day. Like other Nixa bus drivers, Lea takes extra steps to ensure their riders get home safely everyday. because it’s a commitment. It’s more than just getting kids to and from school, but also to events all over the state at times.” Lea runs a route for 19 days during summer school and is studying to become a driver trainer, which will give her close to 40 hours per week. As a trainer she can pass along the techniques, hints, tips and strategies that were instilled in her. “We’re all like a really big family and it’s a really positive environment here. So when we go out to get on the buses and drive, we’re already in a positive mood,” Lea said. “Once you step on the bus it’s all about the kids and it’s all about safety. Nixa is a great community.” ADVICE FOR MOTORISTS If Lea had one wish, it would be to show the general public just how difficult maneuvering a bus in traffic is and how motorists could help by showing others more respect. “If someone off the street would come in and drive a bus just one time they would be amazed how much goes into it,” Lea said. “I have to admit, when I first started I didn’t have patience even in my own vehicle. I have really learned a lot in two years about driving. The toughest part of my job are the other drivers. It’s hard enough to do my job, but I have to watch them also. I wish I could ask people on the road to please stay off the phone and pay attention. Everybody is on their phone. Everybody is in such a hurry. Slow down. You don’t have to go that fast. It’s a privilege to drive ... and a lot of people take that for granted I think. I also think they should give other drivers more room and have a little bit more patience.” 474635s 8 THE NEST NIXA PUBLIC SCHOOLS MAGAZINE FALL 2016


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