WILLARD, Mo. — Bus driver shortages are happening all over the country and Willard is no exception.

Willard Schools is taking an interesting approach, offering a test drive to those thinking about the profession.

Willard Transportation Director, Randy Taylor, wanted to come up with a way to show potential candidates that driving a bus isn’t nearly as intimidating as it seems. Willard Schools hosted an open house in hopes to attract more bus drivers.

Taylor believes it was a way to show the impact bus drivers can have on students, “I’ve got so many success stories and great letters from kids about the bus driver. I’ve gotten letters from kids where the bus driver said, ‘I didn’t even think the kid liked me.’ It was a huge impact on their life.”

Nick Salazar went through the driver training and he will be heading out on his very first bus route Monday morning, as Willard begins their first day of school.

Salazar says getting behind the wheel wasn’t quite what he expected, “When you normally drive a car you do it be second nature. When you’re driving a bus, it didn’t feel that different.”

Randy Talyor says his hope after training, he believes driving and parking a bus can become second nature, “I always tell people you can park a bus better than you can park your car when you’re done.”

OzarksFirst reporter Joshua Pineda was up to the task. He was able to parallel park a school bus, proving Taylor’s point that with the right training, driving and parking a bus can isn’t nearly as intimidating as it looks.

For more Back to School content from Daybreak on the Road, visit the page located here as they travel to Springfield on Tuesday, Reeds Spring on Wednesday, Strafford on Thursday and Nixa on Friday.