PENDLETON — Pendleton School District’s new contractor for bussing plans to start interviewing driver applicants next week.

Tammy Thompson is the regional recruiter for First Student. She explained the process to get an interview is all electronic and starts with applying online at

After someone submits an application, she said, the systems sends an email with a time, date and location for the interview.

First Student, she said, is “always hiring, always interviewing.”

The work is part time, and pay starts at $21 an hour. First Student also offers hiring bonuses: $500 for a driver without a commercial driver’s license and $1,500 for driver’s with a CDL. Thompson said the company also trains drivers for free so they can obtain a Class B CDL.

The school district in February selected the Ohio-based First Student over Mid Columbia Bus Co. in Pendleton. Thompson said First Student is working to have drivers ready as soon as possible, but at the beginning of school in the fall there is going to be a learning curve.

Even so, she said, First Student plans to address and resolve any issues in short order. And First Student is looking at how it integrates into the community, she said.

In other locations, First Student operates its Stuff the Bus event, Thompson explained, where local residents can fill a bus with donations for a food bank or for children at Christmas.

“We’re hoping to serve the community in different ways,” she said.

Sign up for our Daily Headlines newsletter

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.