When Dan Post joined the Marana Unified School District Governing Board, MUSD was only four schools strong. Thirty-nine years later, Post still serves on the governing board, but for a very different school district. Over the past four decades, MUSD quadrupled in size to 18 schools, and Post has been there to see it all.
After his many years of service to the community as part of the governing board, MUSD’s new transportation facility will take his name.
“It’s an honor,” Post said. “I deeply value those employees that work in the transportation system.”
The Dan Post Transportation Facility, which is scheduled to open in fall 2020, was built to house MUSD’s continuously growing bus fleet. The facility will include administrative services – such as driver training and dispatch – and mechanic services on site.
“As the need for Transportation has continued to grow it is critical to ensure that the Transportation department has appropriate mechanical areas and service bays, training areas for both behind the wheel instruction and in class training as well as administrative areas for Education Logistics state-of-the-art routing system together with a Student Information System and custom databases,” said Tamara Crawley, director of public relations for MUSD, via email.
Post, now the governing board president, has long advocated for the bus drivers, who he said are sometimes judged unfairly. He said he has a good relationship with the bus drivers and mechanics and that they know they can come to him if they are having any issues.
“They know that I’m on their side,” Post said.
Post also said he recognizes how important bus drivers are to the district, as well as the children themselves.
“Bus drivers are the first people to see the kids in the morning and the last people to see them in the evening when they go home,” Post said. “They have a lot of connection to our children and they form relationships and lasting connections with our children over the years. Most children always remember their bus driver from their school years, and so those are really special people.”
MUSD buses service more than 7,500 students every day, traveling close to 12,000 miles. As of January 2020, the transportation fleet consists of 145 buses and 116 student activity vehicles.
The Dan Post Transportation Facility was funded by the voter-approved 2014 school improvement bond, which issued $67.6 million to MUSD for new construction projects, as well as $12 million for new technology and $11.3 million for new vehicles.
Beyond his advocacy for the bus drivers, Post has also been directly involved with the growth of the school district and represented the voice of many of its members throughout his tenure.
“Through the years Mr. Post has been instrumental not only in the bonding, construction, and opening of schools, but more importantly, in creating a culture in which students, parents, and teachers in the Marana School District feel valued,” Crawley said.
Post has witnessed the huge growth of the district and served through nine superintendents. He said part of the reason why he still stays on is to help ease the transition between the former and current superintendents.
“The transition is difficult,” Post said. “So I’ve tried to help the new superintendent come in and get acquainted.”
While Post originally ran for the governing board because his children were going to school in the district, years after all 11 graduated, it still remains a valued part of his life.
“It just became part of my being,” Post said. “I’ve grown to love the district. It’s home. It’s part of me and I still feel like I’m able to contribute.”
Sam Burdette is a University of Arizona journalism student and Tucson Local Media intern.