MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — Teacher and bus driver shortages have been going on for some time now.
However, in China Spring ISD, the district superintendent is taking the drivers seat to get kids to school — literally.
It’s a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call for Dr. Marc Faulker, as he starts his bus route at 6:30 a.m. every Monday through Thursday.
“At first, I'll be honest, I was a little worried about how much time it would take out of my day, “ Dr. Faulkner said.
As the district faces a bus driver shortage, Dr. Faulkner decided to pick up some slack.
“I had a bus certification, so I picked up one of those routes,” Dr. Faulkner said.
After Dr. Faulker completes his routes, he looks over the district.
“It’s parent phone calls, it’s you know dealing with media, its TEA’s," Dr. Faulkner said.
"With this being a legislative year, a lot of new laws and things were changed this summer, so I'm putting those into play and practice for our district.”
When he’s not in his office, Dr. Faulker spends his time in the classroom.
“I don’t get to see kids everyday necessarily, so I love it when I get an opportunity to go and interact with them, “ Dr. Faulkner said.
When 3:30 p.m. hits, it’s time to take those students home.
Driving the bus takes three hours out of Faulkner’s day, but he says it’s all worth it.
“Starting my day with that, the positive interaction with the kiddos, and then pretty much ending my day with that as well,” Dr. Faulkner said.
25 News asked Dr. Faulker if he would give up his route when the district gets enough drivers, but he’s not sure if he could let go of the early morning rush.
“Giving up those kiddo’s I don’t know — we’ll see," Dr. Faulkner said.
"Maybe I’ll give up half the route and let somebody do the afternoon, and I'll do the morning."
Faulkner has been an educator for 27 years, he's been with China Spring ISD for 20, and he might be staying a little longer.
“I used to think when I hit my 30 year mark that I would call it quits," Dr. Faulkner said.
"If it stays like this, I’ll go 10 more."
Information about being a bus driver for China Spring ISD can be found here.