Why over half our team comes from the education space
Written by Miriam Ravkin
You might be surprised to learn that more than half of HopSkipDrive’s team have backgrounds in education, not tech.
This is by design: Our hiring strategy has always prioritized bringing on people who know the complexities of the education space.
HopSkipDrive is built on the pillars of safety, support, and community — and our team represents that.
Our technology monitors driver behavior for risk factors. Our Safety Advisory Board, comprised of youth transportation leaders, ensures we’re maintaining our core safety and values while we remain at the forefront of safety innovation.
Customer service and logistics experts build out processes for our clients and monitor rides from start to finish. Members of our support teams include former CareDrivers, EMTs, 911 operators, and childcare specialists.
And as for community, more than 50% of our team are former teachers, school principals, student advocates, and educational tech experts. Their experience ensures they think beyond the app as simply a software solution. We didn’t bring in people from rideshare companies. We brought in educators and administrators who know the industry and see transportation as a great equalizer.
Why building a team of educators makes us unique
They help us keep an eye on all-important student outcomes so we can leverage the HopSkipDrive solution into bigger opportunities for students.
Empathy with educators creates solutions that work for riders and schools
We don’t just empathize with children; we empathize with transportation teams, liaisons, advocates, educators, and everyone making a difference day-to-day in education. We know it’s hard to make choices and balance budgets when funding is tied to academic performance. Kids without access to transportation can slip through the cracks. It’s a delicate balance getting every kid to school on time and ready to learn, while your budget is shrinking, your safety standards are growing, and your pool of drivers is vanishing.
We’re aware of the issues, and aware of the resources provided for students under McKinney-Vento, in foster care, with IEPs, in continuing education programs, and experiencing other non-routine transportation needs.
Safe youth transportation evolves – and so do we
Our staff are life-long educators as well as life-long learners. Staff with educational backgrounds ensure that all employees working with school transportation are aware of the unique challenges. Through educating these staff members, we’re able to help them become true partners to you.
As former educators, we appreciate the transportation provided by school districts, and we’re uniquely aware of the challenges inherent in coordinating the transportation for thousands of children every day.
The people building your rides know how hectic a day can be for a transportation coordinator. Our CareDrivers receive driver education training so they can best support all kids.This includes sharing transportation challenges and solutions with the company, and providing training to drivers so they can provide consistent rides for special needs riders.
We use our educational connections to lobby for better options for kids in underserved communities.
We speak your language, we know the amazing feats you pull off every day, and we want to help.
Meet some of the former educators who joined HopSkipDrive
Our VP of Public-Private Partnerships Qiana Patterson served as a teacher and Dean of Students before moving to EdTech and student advocacy. She has the additional background of spending time in the foster care system as a youth. (Check out her articles on the value of mobility and busting the myth that public schools don’t innovate.)
VP of Marketplace Jon Hanover is a former teacher, school founder, and principal. He understands how the school of origin promise can be broken by lack of mobility.
Melissa Serio has taught, trained teachers, and served as a junior high school principal before coming to HopSkipDrive. She uses her experience in adult education to share best practices with CareDrivers and the Driver Program Manager.
Our Marketing Manager Lauren Rueger comes from a background as a school counselor. She knows firsthand the challenges that vulnerable populations face, and feels that she can continue to make a huge impact on children’s lives in her role at HopSkipDrive.
Account Executive Mike Morrissey used his theater, music and improvisation background to teach at-risk elementary and middle schoolers. Now, he puts his experience to use helping clients access resources for their students.
And we’ll be introducing you to many more in the coming weeks!