Horace High School teacher gets bus driver’s license amid shortage

Horace teacher and coach adds another title to his resume.
Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 8:35 PM CDT
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HORACE, N.D. (Valley News Live) - With students going back to school soon, many are worried about the shortage of school bus drivers. However, some teachers and coaches are now stepping up, to make sure the shortage doesn’t mean students will miss out on after school activities.

“I always probably just assumed that I would end up driving bus,” admits Horace High School teacher and speech coach, Nathan Amberg.

He says his own high school cross-country coach drove him and the rest of his team to practices and meets every day. So when he heard the bus driver shortage might negatively impact his speech and debate teams, he decided now was the right time to get his bus driver’s license.

“I was essentially told, ‘Hey, we’re going to struggle to get people to the activities they want to go to, we’re going to have to maybe cut kids or make changes.’ And from my coaching perspective I’m like, ‘Oh no, if I can drive bus and get my kids where they want to go let’s do it,’” explains Amberg.

Amberg says he’s glad he can ensure all of his students can participate, but he realizes it will come at a cost.

He says, “It is going to hurt my coaching, it’s going to hurt my ability to have some of those connections with kids.”

Amberg feels that’s the biggest challenge he’ll be facing by adding the new title to his role, but he’ll also be working longer hours and increasing his amount of responsibilities.

In the end, Amberg is putting his students ahead of himself.

When faced with the possibility of having to cut kids from his teams, Amberg says, “That would make for some tough conversations so I’m glad I don’t have to have those tough conversations. With my activities, I can still take everyone that’s interested and I think that’s an important aspect, with high school activities we have to be able to provide opportunity and without bus drivers, we won’t be able to provide opportunity, which is a shame.”