- Kaukauna moms' best kept secret to stay at home with small children during the day, but also have a paycheck: become a bus driver.
- Sydney Reichert and other members of the Kobussen "mom army" help tackle the driver shortage and solve their pick-up-time problem all in one.
(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)
While the school bus driver shortage was hitting schools everywhere, one Kaukauna mom decided to take matters into her own hands. I’m Olivia Acree, your neighborhood reporter and I'll tell you Sydney Reichert’s story on why she decided to be a bus driver.
For Sydney Reichert and her children, every day is bring-your-child-to-work day.
“So she sits in her car seat just like she would in my car, and she usually falls asleep so it's a nap,” said Reichert.
Sydney is a bus driver at Kaukauna Kobussen.
“She gets excited when we show up and grab the keys and she likes to say "Hi" to everybody. Some of the kids say "Hi" to her, some of the kids don’t even know she’s on the bus,” said Reichert.
When Nova was seven weeks old, Sydney was ready to go back to work.
“I was ready to bring home a paycheck, but I wasn’t ready to leave her in daycare,” said Reichert.
She got the best of both worlds and Safety Manager Henrique Hilgenberg says she’s not the only one.
“Sydney is just one of the few that we have that I call the Kobussen mom army,” said Hilgenberg.
Carleigh Trudeau is another member of the Kobussen "mom army."
“This job gives me the opportunity to stay home with my two-year-old, bring him to work with me, and he gets to have that social environment with all the other kiddos on the bus,” said Trudeau.
Hilgenberg says he’s seen moms, coaches, lots of people in the community stepping up to try to fill bus driver positions.
“That’s been happening throughout the state. We’re the first thing they see and the last thing they see in the school day, right there next to the teachers to try to be a positive influence on the child’s school day,” said Hilgenberg.
Who better to make a positive influence, than a mom?
Sydney says she'll drive for as long as it works for her family, but Hilgenberg wants her to drive forever. In Kaukauna, Olivia Acree NBC 26.