Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Kevin Bickerstaff: A Life and Legacy

3-6-15 Clarkston News Column

This week, The Clarkston Community Schools’ Director of Transportation, Mr. Kevin Bickerstaff, will serve his last day on the job. In 1975, when he started, Clarkston was a much smaller and different place. Many of our schools had not been built, several subdivisions were farm fields or wooded areas, and some of our main roads were not yet paved.

Today, nearly 4,500 students will ride our buses to and from the district’s 12 schools. Before most of them awaken to start their days, Kevin will have already put in several hours, clearing snow off of the hoods of buses, plowing snow from the parking lots, and warming up 55 buses so that seats are warm when students climb on board. As the last bus returns to the garage from dropping kids off for an away basketball game or a track meet, Kevin will turn out the lights and head home, confident that every child and bus driver is safe.

Over his 40 years of service to The Clarkston Community Schools (and long before as he grew up and attended school in Clarkston), Kevin has made countless connections with students, district employees, and parents. He possesses memories of superintendents, teachers, bus drivers, and kids that date back generations.

In the year 2016, our students encounter new information, constantly. To learn and make sense of this information, they must connect it to previous knowledge and integrate it with their experiences.

As a child, student, young person working on his uncle’s farm in Sault Sainte Marie, mechanic, bus driver, and transportation director, Kevin connected knowledge and experience into tremendous skills and relationships that allowed him to do his job with amazing precision and excellence. He did this by naming and noticing, asking questions, listening, practicing, focusing on learning over work, caring about people, and by utilizing a growth mindset.

Few among us will in our careers work for 40 years for a single employer. Regardless, all of us in Clarkston have the good fortunate of having a role model in Kevin Bickerstaff who both did his work well and became synonymous with it. The connections he has made here will influence all of us today and for many generations into the future.

Thank you, Kevin, for all that you have given us, and best wishes to you in your retirement.


  1. Thank you Kevin Bickerstaff for being the BEST BOSS I have ever had!!! Enjoy your retirement, you certainly have earned it :) Sincerely Jeannie Thibault.

  2. I would like also thank Kevin for his many years of service. I remember his early years as a mechanic, and watched him grow into an exceptional leader of the transportation department of Clarkston Schools.

    He was a favorite person in my mother's (Betty Prevo) life. She was a driver with 22 years who also hailed from the UP. I too worked with Kevin as a bus driver. I respected and admired him. He was fair and did his job with humor and high expectations.

    Well done Kevin. Hoping you are enjoying your well deserved retirement.

    -Kay Hudson
    Teacher/Huron Valley Schools