Donny Gray makes safety a priority when it comes to school buses.
“Safety is a choice, not a chance,” he said. “We do our best to be safe at all times.”
Gray is the Clinton Public School District’s new director of transportation, replacing Terry Harris who recently retired. Prior to this role, he worked at UPS for 37 years and more recently was Transportation Director at the Mississippi Department of Education.
“Kids are our most precious commodity,” he said. “I pray every day that each child will be picked up and returned safely. I emphasize safety in all I do.”
As transportation director, Gray oversees a fleet of nearly 75 buses and route management for more than 3,500 students who ride the bus daily.
“We have 132 square miles in our school district,” he said. “We transport students in three tiers – elementary, middle and high school. Every day we run about 50 buses on 80 routes, all between 6-8:15 a.m. in the mornings.”
This summer Gray and his staff have made sure that all regular route buses have air conditioning. He is also overseeing a fleet upgrade to replace older, outdated buses with newer models.
“The average lifespan of a school bus is 10-15 years,” he said. “We have good mechanics on staff and we can get 15 good years from our buses, but we want to provide quality.”
As school starts, Gray encourages all motorists to respect buses and loading/drop-off areas.
“When you see the bus stop arm extended, it’s the law that you have to stop,” he said. “Most school bus-related deaths occur outside the bus, and we need to make sure that everyone is aware of the law and follows the law.”
For bus route information, text alert subscription information and more, visit the CPSD Transportation Department Website here: https://www.clintonpublicschools.com/domain/23