Karen Borgemenke, a bus driver for Springboro Schools, is often one of the first to arrive at Clearcreek Elementary with her students in the morning. Being a few minutes early to school allows Karen the time to engage the students on her bus, before they can enter the building. Mrs. Borgemenke uses this time to read to the students on the bus before they start their day at school.
“This particular school year, there are less students on the bus,” said Karen Borgemenke in reference to some students electing to not use the bus for transportation or choosing the district’s at-home learning model, in light of COVID-19. “With less students, my route is shorter, so rather than impact the parents’ schedules and adjust route times, I thought it would be nice to keep the same route times, get to school a few minutes early, and read to the kids with that extra time.”
Karen will visit the Clearcreek Elementary Library every week to select books that interest the students. Once the bus arrives to the parking lot and parks, Mrs. Borgemenke will stand towards the front of the bus, with the students remaining in their assigned seats, and read aloud to everyone. Mrs. Borgemenke will often engage the students, both Kindergarten and 1st Grade, in asking them questions about the particular book.
“As a former teacher and now a parent, it means so much that (Karen) used that down time to show the kids literature, as well as to give their day a positive start,” said a parent of a student on Mrs. Borgemenke’s bus.
“The students all seem to really enjoy it. It’s a great use of time, and I like the idea of getting to know my students more, and for my students to know their bus driver more,” Mrs. Borgemenke said. Mrs. Borgemenke was recently awarded the Clearcreek Elementary “Positive Panther Award.”
In addition to her duties as a bus driver, Mrs. Borgemenke also serves as a FIRST LEGO League Robotics Coach for students at Clearcreek Elementary. FIRST LEGO League introduces science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to children through fun, exciting hands-on learning.