A principal is stepping up for her students by taking on the role of school bus driver during the pandemic.
Janet Throgmorton is principal of Fancy Farm Elementary in western Kentucky, where there's 184 preschool through sixth-grade students.
Since there's been a shortage of bus drivers, Throgmorton has worn multiple hats for Graves County School District including taking kids home after school.
"The first couple of times I drove it was really comical because I'm on the bus as the bell rings, as the kids are dismissed," Throgmorton told "Good Morning America." "The kids are like, 'Why are you driving the bus? Do you know how to drive the bus? I say, 'Yes. I got my license to do it.'"
Throgmorton has been principal of Fancy Farm for 11 years. Two years ago, she got her commercial driver's license and would substitute as a bus driver during field trips to save the district budget money.
- 2October 21, 2020
"It's been very difficult for bus drivers, aides, cafeteria workers -- it affects every aspect of what we do," Throgmorton said. "Although COVID hasn't affected kids very much, you still consider schools a germ area. We don't blame them."
"You help where you need to help because that's what you need to do," she added. We've been short custodians, so you help take out trash. Our goal for the entire school year is to have kids in these buildings because we definitely believe that's where the best learning takes place."
Throgmorton said she and other educators have worn many hats lately. She has pitched in for cafeteria staff and picked up students in her own car after they've missed the bus.
Throgmorton has also made house calls to help remote learners with tech difficulties before the school returned to full, in-person learning on Monday.
On the bus, students and staff follow safety procedures like hand sanitizing, mask-wearing and social distancing. Temperatures are also taken.
In addition to her duties as principal, Throgmorton said taking on extra tasks has helped her connect with students on a deeper level.