Struthers Schools looks for more transportation supervision

Struthers City Schools Superintendent Joe Nohra is looking into merging the district's transportation department with Austintown Schools. He said the district needs more oversight, especially after two incidents with Struthers bus drivers.
Struthers City Schools Superintendent Joe Nohra is looking into merging the district's transportation department with Austintown Schools. He said the transportation department needs more oversight, especially after two recent incidents with Struthers bus drivers.


STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – Struthers City Schools Superintendent Joe Nohra said he gets several phone calls every day from people complaining about buses or bus drivers.

Bus drivers say they don’t like being filmed, but Nohra said that should not be an issue if they are following the rules. On Tuesday, he proposed a plan to the Board of Education for more supervision of transportation staff.

‘”If you expect it every single day, and you’re following the rules and you’re doing your very best, that’s what we ask of you,” he said. “You’re looking at the safety of our kids. Don’t worry about who’s filming you. Worry about the students.”

Nohra told the Struthers Board of Education Tuesday night that his bus drivers are under a lot of scrutiny.

The scrutiny began three weeks ago when First News cameras caught a Struthers school bus driving through a stop sign. Before that, another of the district’s bus drivers left the scene of an accident after a crash.

Nohra said, as such, he needs more eyes on his staff.

“You have a superintendent and a treasurer and we have no one else,” he said. “Our drivers watch over our operation, but we have no one else that works within transportation.”

Nohra’s plan is to merge with the Austintown Schools Transportation Department.

The board agreed not having a transportation supervisor is taking away from Nohra’s duties as superintendent.

“It’s the best plan for the taxpayers and school board and the students here. Ultimately, we want to get our kids safe to school every day, and we want to get them home every day,”

Nohra says sharing service with Austintown Schools would mean that the district’s Transportation Supervisor Colleen Murphy-Penk would run both departments.

“I think the community has expectations that we run a safer operation,” he said.

The proposal would cost roughly $52,000 a year, less than the $70,000 Nohra says it would cost to hire a department head himself.

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