Frisco ISD school bus (Gabriel Roxas – CBS11)

FRISCO (CBS11) – It’s one of the most desirable school districts in North Texas, but now Frisco ISD is on the verge of having more students than it can get to school on time if it doesn’t hire more bus drivers soon.

One look at the turnout for the job fair to recruit school bus drivers shows Frisco ISD has its work cut out for it if it expects to fill 30 positions before the school year begins.

Linda Meiborg is a former Frisco ISD bus driver who just moved back to the area and is looking to get her old job back. She’s one of only a handful of candidates who showed up to Wednesday’s morning session of the job fair.

“In two and a half years I’ve been gone, I can’t believe how fast it’s grown. It’s like, wow, this is here; this is here,” Meiborg said.

That growth has also brought more students, which means more bus routes. By the end of last school year the district was already down so many drivers, Director of Transportation Doug Becker had to enlist other district employees including himself to fill in behind the wheel.

“It could be where we’re having to double up routes, so kids could be late to school if that’s the case,” Becker said.

The jobs start at more than $15 per hour with a guarantee of 25 hours per week and health and retirement benefits. But Becker says it’s still tough to recruit drivers in Frisco’s booming economy.

“Well, there’s more jobs to be had, and so people find good-paying jobs elsewhere,” Becker said.

That’s why the district hopes to find more candidates like Meiborg who says other jobs can’t compete with the most rewarding part of being a driver.

“Those children, just to see their smile on their face. You interact with them. You laugh with them. You talk with them. You sing with them going to school. You just make their ride special. It’s what you do,” Meiborg said.

Frisco ISD will hold another job fair on Wednesday, August 2 and anyone interested is encouraged to apply online.