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Sharon Harris to lead transportation

Posted: April 12, 2017 - 5:32pm
Sharon Harris (right) will replace longtime Transportation Manager Maria McClure, who recently accepted a position as director of transportation in Beaufort County.
Sharon Harris (right) will replace longtime Transportation Manager Maria McClure, who recently accepted a position as director of transportation in Beaufort County.

Sharon Harris has spent the better part of three decades in the Aiken County Public Schools Transportation Department, and she is ready for her biggest assignment yet.

Harris, who has worked as the transportation supervisor for Area 1 schools in Aiken County for the past 12 years, is the district's new executive manager for transportation following a selection committee recommendation and unanimous approval from the Board of Education.

Harris also served as transportation supervisor for Area 3 schools. She follows longtime Transportation Manager Maria McClure, who recently accepted a position as director of transportation in Beaufort County.

Harris says rather than anticipating retirement, she is looking forward to serving as a force for improvement.

"Working here in Aiken County, you feel like you are a member of the family, and this is really your home away from home. It just feels like family," Harris said. "I started out here as a bus driver and back then I never really thought that something like this might be possible, but over the years I look back on my time as a supervisor in Area 3 and then in Area 1, and those times gave me the confidence I needed."

Dr. Shawn Foster, chief officer of operations and student services, said Harris has a proven record in transportation, and has earned and kept the trust of her colleagues.

"Ms. Harris has really been a cornerstone of our Transportation Department for many years," Dr. Foster said. "She has worked under some of the most difficult circumstances and performed well. She has the overwhelming respect of her colleagues and the other area supervisors; the selection committee felt like she was the best choice for this position."

Two areas Ms. Harris wants to address are increasing and stabilizing the number of professional bus drivers and selecting a new bus routing program that will work to identify the best-available roadways and turn-by-turn directions for drivers.

"I want to really focus on hiring drivers and working hard to have a full staff," Ms. Harris commented. "I also want to continue our work to implement a new bus routing program that will help us to increase efficiency. That is something we have already been working on so I am looking forward to that. I think it will be a great asset."

 

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