SHUSD transportation director's days are full


SHUSD >> Karl Terrell is a busy man. He became the Southern Humboldt Unified School District transportation director last September after working as a manager and driver for Renner Petroleum for 29 years and seven months.

Terrell recently told the Redwood Times that the transportation director position requires a lot of organization and coordination. He is in charge of 10 bus drivers, a couple of mechanics and all the equipment. He figures out the bus schedules with the help of the assistant dispatcher.

Terrell works hard to accommodate everybody including students, parents and drivers and he must stay within the budget. He said sometimes you have to make adjustments.

Terrell said the routes must determined 10 days before school starts because the bus drivers bid on the routes and are placed according to seniority. This year he made an adjustment because of the new junior high, adding a bus but with the same number of drivers.

Bus drivers work a split day, starting early in the morning and working for three or four hours, then off for three or four hours and then back to driving for another three or four hours. The sports runs are even later and some routes are shorter than others. He explained the drivers go through rigorous screening, training, and testing. It takes a special person to do it, Terrell said.

Terrell is also an instructor for the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI), a non-violent crisis prevention program the district has utilized for years. He instructs bus drivers and teachers' aids in the practices. Terrell said CPI fits well with Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (PBIS), the program the district is working to adopt. They are both intervention systems, he said, that use therapeutic rapport and strive to create a positive atmosphere or environment. "It is mostly recognizing what is going on," he said.

But there is more. When Terrell sees a need he fills it. He is the supervisor for the school district's custodians. And he is the junior high athletic director. That requires a lot of organization and coordination, too. He schedules the sports games, hires coaches, works with athletic directors of other schools, works with the junior high booster club, and watches out for the equipment.

He said it feels good when things are accomplished and it benefits people.

He has helped coordinate the Kiwanis of the Redwoods Redwood Run for the last 25 years and sees it as a way to help local nonprofits fund their organizations.

He does not have a motorcycle, though. He prefers his houseboat and ski boat at Trinity Lake because that is more of a family recreation. He and his wife Tammy, a teacher's aid with the school district, and their kids went camping and skiing and to the lake when their sons and daughter were young. Now he and Tammy like to go camping, to the lake and to sporting events when they have the time. They have two sons and a daughter and two grandchildren.

Terrell grew up in Santa Clara, California. He started out as a "gas jockey" when he was in his teens and worked his way up through management to make it to where he is today.