School bus concerns prompt call for drivers

YPS officials determined to improve routes, stops

Dr. Jason Simeroth

By Conrad Dudderar
Associate Editor

Parent concerns about Yukon Public Schools’ transportation routes have prompted a call for new drivers as the district sorely needs more to adequately cover all bus stops.

“Even at a mile and half (apart), we’re still strapped for people to hit those routes,” YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said this week.

The topic was discussed in detail at Monday night’s monthly YPS Board of Education meeting.

Cody Sanders

There has been “a lot of public comment” about Yukon’s school busses, YPS Post 5 Board of Member Cody Sanders pointed out.

“We are constantly in conversation to make it better,” Sanders said.

The easiest way to make it better is hiring new bus drivers, Dr. Simeroth responded.

“We have tons and tons of opportunity there,” he said.

While the 2023-24 school year started well with some “excellent energy” in YPS buildings, Simeroth explained the first few weeks are “always a mess” – in every school and every district.

He credited YPS Transportation Director Christy Clemons and her personnel for their efforts and patience ensuring students who ride the district’s school busses get where they need to go – and on the right busses.

Simeroth also commended Clemons for being responsive to patrons’ complaints and issues with bus routes and stops.

“It’s just always a thing when you have 10,000 kids and you’re trying to get them different places,” Simeroth said Monday night. “Things happen but they really worked hard to get things back on track. It’s much smoother.”

Anyone interested in becoming a Yukon school bus driver – or who knows someone who may be interested – was encouraged to apply.

There are openings for those who want to transport YPS young learners on the air-conditioned busses.

“We have busses available that we don’t have drivers for,” Simeroth noted at September’s monthly board meeting. “And they can earn pretty good money driving.”

Drivers must be at least 21 years old and possess a valid commercial driver’s license and Oklahoma school bus certificate.

YPS employs bus drivers on full-time shifts for 10 months with a “salary range” of $16.02 per hour, according to a YPS job posting.

The Yukon school district has about 20 new bus drivers this school year, with three more added Monday.

Driver recruitment and retention is another major challenge for the YPS Transportation Department.

“It’s not unique to Yukon,” YPS schools’ chief said. “It’s unique to school systems in general.”

The YPS Transportation Department provides transportation to all qualifying students to and from school, schedules transportation for school-related activities and maintains all vehicles to provide safe transportation.

“The safety of our students is our primary concern,” according to a statement on the YPS website. “We diligently strive to provide safe and efficient transportation for qualifying students throughout each school year.”

Anyone with questions about routes or the status of a bus should contact YPS Transportation at (405) 354-6667 or



A week after tragic school shootings during a football game at Choctaw High School, the Yukon school district implemented new spectator safely guidelines and piloted a weapon detection system for athletic events.

Although the Millers failed to win their season opener, YPS Board President Suzanne Cannon didn’t consider it a loss.

Suzanne Cannon

“When I got to the game, there was energy and there was excitement in the air,” Cannon said. “It was the parents. It was the kids. It was the spectators.

“I have not felt so much energy at a game, before it even started.”

Cannon referred to the “incredible” community involvement and great enthusiasm at the game.

“We got to have our ‘Friday night lights’ and it was the way it was supposed to be,” she said.

The new security measures – including the weapon detection device – were generally well received by spectators.

“For the most part, everybody was really happy that it was there,” Cannon added. “That makes me sad and mad that we have to do that, and that’s becoming our new norm.

“I don’t like it, but I guess it’s what we have to do because we are committed and determined to do whatever it takes to keep our kids safe.”

The Millers did claim their first win of a “new era” in Yukon football last Friday night by upsetting Stillwater at Miller Stadium.

YPS board members praised the team and fans at their Monday night meeting.

It was a great game and the Millers “showed a lot of resiliency,” Sanders said.

“It was a lot of fun to watch,” he added.