I had the unique pleasure today of interviewing Mrs. Clorestine Murray, age 74, who is our newly hired bus driver. Clorestine drives for our Paige Bus Enterprises, located in Riverdale, IL.
Q: Why did you want to become a school bus driver?
A: Actually I hadn’t thought of it. One day while driving by the Paige Bus location- I saw their sign by the road saying they were looking for drivers. I went in to apply and immediately received all the necessary information and was told of the requirements to become a driver. I then went to the DMV to be sure my driver’s license was clear so I could begin the learning and driving classes for the CDL license.
Q: Approximately how long did this take for the entire process?
A: It took a couple of months from start to finish, and I’ve been driving for two weeks.
Q: Please tell me about the learning process.
A: I would like to mention Mr. Gregory Wallace, as being extremely supportive and instrumental in assisting me with the book study. Mr. Wallace constantly encouraged me to test myself, keep reading, retest- and to ‘study hard’. He would even call me to see how I was doing with the CDL book. “Mr. Wallace is a lovely person, and I appreciate him”.
Added Note: Lauvetta Toney and Keelen Gamble are the ‘behind the wheel’ instructors, who were also influential in teaching Clorestine the actual driving of the bus.
Q: Tell me your experience of what it’s like to operate a large vehicle. Is it difficult?
A: It’s exciting to operate a large vehicle! My husband had a full size van so in some ways it helped me to prepare for a full size bus- especially for handling the mirrors and parking.
Q: Please tell me about your normal work day.
A: I work 4 hours a day, Monday-Friday. I arrive at the garage at 7:00 a.m. to do a pre-trip inspection to ensure everything is working properly. My first pickup is at 7:40 a.m. I drive children from the ages of kindergarten to the sixth grade. I only drive one route daily. I love the kids, and it’s nice to have the route close to my home in Calumet Park.
Q: It has been an absolute pleasure to speak with you today, do you have closing thoughts?
A: While out driving I asked the Lord to help me find a job and by coincidence that is when I saw the ‘Hiring Sign’ at Paige Bus. It felt like everything just fell into place after that- my license, the CDL testing, the driving, and my route. I strongly encourage older citizens to apply for a bus driving job, to study hard, and you can do it! I asked God to guide me and this has helped me with my new job. My goal is to purchase a brand new car! I very much appreciate my new position and I’m honored that Cook-Illinois Corporation and Paige Bus hired me. Thank you.