Marsh Principal Earns Bus Driver Certification

Marsh Preparatory Academy Principal Dawna Duke recently earned clearance to drive Dallas ISD school busses to allow for more campus field trips.

After realizing how expensive and limited field trips can be due to the cost of paying drivers hourly, Duke decided to take on a bus driver role herself to make active learning more accessible.

“We don’t know what we don’t know as kids,” Duke said. “By giving them exposure and access to activities that aren’t in their day-to-day lives, it gives them opportunities to dream, think about what they want to be when they grow up, and see that the future is right in their hands. They just have to get these experiences.”

Duke has had her commercial driver’s license since she was 18 years old, but her commercial license is now approved in Texas. She also completed Dallas ISD’s certification, including a medical clearance, onboarding program, state driving test, certification course, and driving record check.

Marsh already has a reading buddies program that allows them to take 6 to 10 students to elementary schools to read to younger students, but participation can now double.

The school was also recently awarded a $21,000 grant through Texas State Parks to take students camping at Cedar Hill State Park in the fall and spring of the upcoming school year. Duke said driving the bus herself will help the trip financially.

“For a lot of students, it’s the first time that they have been camping ever,” Duke said. “To rent a charter bus for an overnight trip is very expensive and would suck up a lot of the funds from that grant, so my goal is to drive the bus, camp with them, and then bring them back after the trip is over. Just having access to the school bus will likely be able to double our participation.”

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