With our recent flurry of snow days, it's entirely appropriate to feature FPS Director of Transportation Tommy Davenport in our Staff Spotlight.
A 1976 graduate of FHS, Tommy began driving a school bus for the district when he was 18 years old. "I remember several winters of severe snow storms in the late 1970s when many of our rural roads were dirt roads," said Davenport." In the spring, the roads would sink from the freeze and thaw of the winter. Road surfaces have improved greatly, and we know have only a few miles of dirt roads to travel."
Davenport worked for the Maintenance and Custodial Department from 1981 to 1996 when he returned to the Transportation Department as assistant director. He was named Director of Transportation in 1998 when Loyd Thomas retired.
One of the happiest and most friendly persons you will ever meet, Davenport puts in long days as head of the Transportation Department, particularly on snow days. "Snow days are very serious and intense," said Davenport. "We strive to gather up-to-date information about road conditions. Can we transport students safely to AND from school is the key question."
"I've come to rely on Tommy when we have to make a decision on closing school due to weather or road conditions," said superintendent Dr. Paul Hewitt. "His years of experience, his knowledge of what our buses can and cannot do, and his high concern for the safety of our students are invaluable to me."
Davenport was named the inaugural winner of the President's Star Award from the Arkansas Association of Pupil Transportation.