New BCSD transportation director focused on route efficiency
Published Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Keith Terry (BCSD photo)
As school buses roll through Berkeley County on the first day of school there will be someone closely watching -- someone with the best interest of students, parents and staff members in mind.
That someone is a person who has spent more than a dozen years working in professional transportation. That someone is Keith Terry, the new director of transportation for Berkeley County School District.
Mr. Terry comes to BCSD from Richland County School District One, where he began his journey as a bus driver and worked his way to the position of transportation manager. His resume tells the story of a man with staggering work ethic and great attention to detail. While it's proof that he's an expert in his field, he describes himself as a modest guy that has a difficult time talking about himself.
When asked about the ability to advance his career in transportation, he said it came natural as he's always been driven to "make sure that what I bring to the table is upheld to the highest of standards."
As he looks to make improvements in the transportation department of BCSD, Mr. Terry said his initial focus will be to improve routing.
"We will really be looking at how we can design routes to better accommodate students," he said. "...We can change routing to better serve our needs while also better serving the community."
Improvements to routing, he said, will likely have a positive impact on the amount of time kids spend on the bus.
"By taking a look at routing, we will increase routing efficiency. If our routes are more efficient there will be many benefits," he said.
For the first few weeks of the school year, Mr. Terry said feedback from parents, staff and community members will be important. He welcomes it.
"Keith (Terry) takes the business, but more so, the responsibility of getting students to school and home in a safe and timely fashion very seriously," said BCSD Senior Associate Superintendent Deon Jackson. "He's all about efficiency, abiding by policy, laws and doing what's in the best interest of students."
In addition to looking at route efficiency, Mr. Terry said his department will also be focusing on the individual needs of the various bus offices across the district. He plans to more frequently have trainings and professional development opportunities for employees that will best suit their advancement as well as the needs of the students and families the bus offices serve.
While there is no relief from the well-documented nationwide school bus driver shortage, Mr. Terry does not want that issue to become an excuse for inconsistent service. He said recruitment will remain a priority as bus offices continue to chip away at ways to improve.
From plans to upgrade software, to the placement of route numbers on all BCSD buses, Mr. Terry wants members of the community to know he takes issues seriously and is always looking for ways to improve. He wants everyone to know that his priority is to make sure that all of BCSD’s bus offices are doing what’s necessary to provide the best and safest service possible.
“I want everyone to know that I don’t make things about me. I am compassionate. I’m open and honest and willing to help in any situation that’s in my control,” he said.
When it comes to what parents, students and staff members can expect in his first year, Mr. Terry has a very positive outlook.
“I really do believe we can turn around some issues,” he said.
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