April 2023 Support Staff of the Month

Director of Operations, Mr. Keith Isaacs, is pleased to announce that Mr. Ray Mergenthal, bus driver at Franklin County Community School Corporation, has been selected as April’s “Support Staff of the Month.” 

In 1983, Ray joined the Franklin County Community School Corporation as a part time employee and in 2017, became a full time bus driver transporting students to and from field trips, athletic events, the Whitewater Career Center, and school. In all, Mr. Mergenthal has dedicated 40 years to the corporation! 

Ray was nominated for this honor by a staff and community member. When asked why Mr. Mergenthal should be considered for this recognition, they responded, “Bus drivers get up every morning, regardless of the weather, to safely transport our children to school. Some children wouldn’t be able to get an education if it wasn’t for our school bus drivers. They are in charge of 20+ children in one vehicle while watching for other drivers, road conditions, frequent stops, etc…They protect our kids on the roadways. Ray, in particular, does the extra little things to make the day to day operation run smoothly. For example, on a rainy day, Ray will radio the school his exact arrival time so that the vocational students don’t have to stand out in the dreary weather. If he notices something unusual, such as only half the amount of his usual students getting on the bus, he is proactive in checking with the school as to why. Moreover, he connects with the students, families, and community. More times than not, Ray will choose to support his student passengers by attending their sporting events that he is bussing them to and from. Overall, Mr. Mergenthal is a wonderful bus driver who deserves to be recognized!” 

In addition to his role as a bus driver, Ray is also involved in many community organizations including 4-H for 37 years, club leader for the Highland Hy-Flyers, and serving on the Fairboard Association and being a volunteer, mostly back by the animal barns. 

In his “free time,” Ray enjoys watching athletic events whether he is bussing athletes to them or just attending for fun. His 10 grandchildren, who all play sports, keep him quite busy with games. If not at an athletic event, Ray can be found at a farm machinery show, auction, or on his farm tending to the horses, dogs, cats, chickens, and crops. 

When asked what the best part of his job is, Mr. Mergenthal responded, “It’s been great these past 5 years because it has allowed me to be able to take my grandchildren (Saige, Brady and Cydney) and their teammates /friends safely to and from their games. Some of the athletes began to refer to me as Pappa or Pappa Ray after hearing my grandchildren call me that. The athletes and students are the best part!” 
The purpose of the “Support Staff of the Month” program is to recognize outstanding Franklin County Community School Corporation Support Staff who demonstrate dedication to his/her job, school, students, and community. Nomination forms for “Support Staff of the Month” can be found on the school corporation website at www.fccsc.k12.in.us.