Moving Up The Ranks

New school bus drivers New drivers (l-r) Pam Byrd, Josh Cicio, Michelle Rodriguez.

SEYMOUR – Having been around school buses all his life and having a mother who is a driver, Josh Cicio looked forward to the day when he was old enough to drive his own bus. That day finally arrived this month.

Cicio, who had been working as a monitor since he graduated from Seymour High School in 2016, and two other long-time monitors at the Seymour terminal all earned their commercial driver’s license this month. All three were motivated by the same desire to secure a good job and earn a bigger paycheck.

“I always wanted my CDL, and Steve (Gardner) offered it to me when I turned 21. I signed up for classes a day or two later,” says Cicio, who began riding a school bus as a baby on his mother’s bus.

“I prefer to drive, to know that I am in control. I can focus more, while as a monitor I was more involved with the kids,” he adds.

Joining him in those classes were co-workers Michelle Rodriguez and Pam Byrd. Rodriguez has worked as a monitor for six years, while Byrd has been one for five years.

“They kept asking me to be a driver,” says Byrd, who began working as a monitor to support her family shortly after her husband’s death. She hesitated to become a driver because she enjoyed being a monitor.

“I’m going to miss my kids. They don’t know I’m leaving,” she says of the children on the bus she monitors. “I’m looking forward to their reaction when they see me driving.”

Rodriguez is just as fond of the kids she monitored. But as the mother of six children with a seventh on the way, she said it was time for a change.

“I need more money,” she said with a grin.