Rush City is truly a hidden gem. Just by looking at a map one would notice that we have a wide variety of housing options, employment opportunities, beautiful lakes, the St. Croix River, an airport, an aquatic center, a strong faith community, and since Interstate Highway 35 passes through town, traveling to Duluth or the Twin Cities is simple.
Some of the greatest attributes of this community, though, are not visible on a map. Rush City is fortunate to have a caring and supportive community. One never needs to look far to see someone helping a neighbor or giving back to the town. The schools offer excellent programming with early childhood through college options, a broad array of electives, and competitive activities with little to no fees. The staff care about each other and about every student, and work as a cohesive team to make a difference in the lives of our learners.
Being employed by the Rush City School District is highly rewarding. Every employee has the opportunity to enrich the learning experience of our students and to make a positive impact on our community. It’s obvious how our teachers and paraprofessionals make a difference, but every other employee does so as well. Our students interact with adults in a variety of roles, including office staff, food staff, and custodial staff. For many kids, the first and last employee they see every day is their bus or van driver.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve ridden along on almost every bus and van route in the district. It’s been a wonderful experience! We have great kids who are respectful and follow expectations. Our fleet of vehicles is safe and well maintained. Our drivers are paid well, are eligible for benefits, and are fun to be around.
At the end of this year, one of our drivers, Carol Swanson, will retire with 50 years of service for Rush City Schools! I cannot imagine all that Carol has seen. On one of my first ride-alongs I had the cutest interaction with a kindergarten student. She heard the driver and me talking about animals and decided to join in the conversation. “Hi,” she said, to which I replied, “Hi.” She then went on, “I have two dogs and two snakes.” I said, “Ooh snakes!” to which she explained, “yeah, they’re nice as long as you’re not holding a mouse or wiggling your finger!” And with that she got off the bus and went to start her day.
I’ve dearly enjoyed the morning conversations with kids like her, and with the group of drivers before they load the buses and head out on their routes. At one of these morning discussions the drivers shared their opinions as to why it’s hard to find new drivers. The leading theories were that people think a bus is hard to drive because of its size, and that they are concerned about the kid’s behaviors. However, if you care about kids and you’re a good driver, you can do it!
On Wednesday, April 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. we will hold an employment fair and BBQ at the high school. If the weather allows, we will be in the parking lot, and our backup location will be in the high school commons area. We invite you to come enjoy a light lunch and hear from our staff about what it is like to work in the various roles around our district. Attendees will be able to take tours, check out a bus, get questions answered, and learn about job opportunities in the district. We anticipate openings for drivers, teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians, cooks, office staff, aquatic center staff, and substitutes for most positions.
It’s very rewarding to make a difference in such an amazing community. Our pay is regionally competitive, our work makes a difference, and our school community is like a family. I hope to see many come learn more about our wonderful district on the 28th!