'Seeing their faces when they get on the bus. That's the best part'

EUGENE, Ore. -- Wednesday was the first day back to school for many Oregon students, which also meant school bus drivers got back into their morning routines.

While most students don't walk out to the bus stop until 8 or 8:30 a.m., drivers were in their lots as early as 6 a.m. prepping their yellow buses to make sure kids safely got to their first day of school.

"Seeing their faces when they get on the bus. That's the best part," said bus driver Bryan Ribelin. "A lot of my interaction with them in the morning is pretty crucial to how they start their day. At the end of the day, I'm the last person they see going home and so I try to leave them also with a positive feeling about school."

He said he arrived at the Eugene 4-J School District bus lot early to "check tire pressure, check your lights, check emergency exits, make sure everything's working inside."

Tanya Adams has been driving for the 4-J School Distrcit for 12 years.

"Everyone thinks its an easy job or they never do it because its too big or too much trouble but it's a lot of work. Not a physical job but more mind," said Adams.

The district added new LED digital notification signs to 20 of their busses this year, what they call "driver alert signs". District superintendent Sheldon Berman said the signs were part of a bond measure passed last year.

"The goal for this year is to have a great year and get kids off to a great start. A longer year with fewer furlough days - a little lower class size," said Berman.