These days, it takes a village to educate the next generation. From parents and teachers to principals, lunch servers, custodians and even those who drive a big bright yellow school bus. For 15 years, Bona Gerhart of Trumbauersville has taken an active role in public education as a school bus driver for Levy School Bus Company.
Each role is important to the success, growth and learning of the next generation. Gerhart takes an active interest in her students and gets to know them well over time. She discovers their moods, learns their temperaments and feels she plays a big a part in the success of their daily life.
“If they start off crying on the bus, they probably won’t have a good day,” Gerhart said. She doesn’t think twice about stepping in when needed to console students and may even call ahead to notify building staff and guidance counselors so they can meet a distraught child and provide comfort or intervention. “I enjoy the children, and I enjoy driving and being part of the educational system,” Gerhart said of her long-time job with Levy.
For 90 years, Levy School Bus Company has worked hand in hand with the Quakertown Community School District as the area’s faithful steward. The Trumbauersville-based company transports more than 5,000 students a day to Quakertown schools from the Haycock, Milford, Richlandtown, Richland Township, Trumbauersville and Quakertown area.
“It’s a long-standing special relationship where Levy School Bus Company has transported Quakertown students and kept them safe,” said Superintendent William “Bill” Harner of the Quakertown Community School District.
Warren “Jr.” Levy, great grandson of Founder Warren B. Levy, said his family business started in 1927 with only two buses. He reflected on the family’s business past and how it’s grown from primarily serving an agricultural community, transporting farmers to town for banking and other necessities, to providing transportation to children of all ages.
“For several generations, Quakertown Community School District has been served by the Levy family,” Harner said. “Throughout the school year, their buses are seen all over the region transporting our community's most precious resource - our children - to and from school, sporting events and other extracurricular activities. We are blessed,” Harner said.
For Warren Levy, being part of the fabric of the greater Quakertown community continues to delight him. “The interactions I see between parents, students and our drivers always puts a big smile on my face. I appreciate the relationships we’ve made throughout the years,” he said.
Levy’s transportation services extends beyond just regular school bussing. He also owns and operates Lazer Limousine, which provides wedding, airport and other various limousine services throughout the greater Philadelphia and surrounding area.
Today’s challenges for Levy School Bus Company however, revolve around hiring drivers. Much of the company’s driver pool over the years came from within the area’s tight-knit community and included multiple family members, sisters, husband and wife teams to even the children of parents who are drivers. In an ever-changing industry, new advertising and training strategies attract people from all walks of life come to work for Levy nowadays.
The advantages of choosing to work as a school bus driver are endless and can be highly rewarding. For Gerhart, she enjoys watching youngsters grow up and become successful. “It’s neat when you see a student down the road,” she said.
For more information on Levy School Bus Company call 215.536.4567 or log onto www.levybus.com.
Member Spotlight: Moyer's Shoes
Back in the day, maybe you went to the shoe store and paused before racks of beautifully showcased shoes: black patent or nubuck leathers, or buttery soft suede.
If you were lucky, both stylish and practical pairs were tastefully displayed on round tables. You were greeted by a sales person and your feet (both of them!) got measured. Shoe shopping was an event to be savored.
At Moyer’s Shoes in downtown Quakertown, it can still be 1952.
Moyer’s Shoes has a mission to help customers find the right fit and best shoes for daily living and special occasions.
“A lot of people come to us because their feet hurt. We have a nice reputation and we get referrals from foot doctors,” said Ralph Moyer III.
The Moyers are in their third generation of operating the family retail business, since Ralph Moyer Sr. founded it.
James R. Smith DPM, a podiatrist with Quakertown Foot Care Center, Inc., said he refers patients to Moyers because they’re one of the “very few shoe stores who know how to fit shoes anymore.”
To prevent foot pain and problems and to keep your feet running properly, shoes need to fit. “You need support for your foot so it functions properly and that means a structurally sound shoe,” Smith said.
And while the shoe industry has changed in nearly seven decades – back then flip flops weren’t considered casual attire - people’s feet come in all shapes and sizes, so finding the right shoes with a great fit isn’t easy.
“You’ve got to have a go-to pair of shoes,” Moyer said.
That’s what Jim Haigh discovered more than two decades ago. HaigH is membership development and public policy contact for UBCC, discovered. “I'm a loyal customer for (25 years and) for my own hard-to-fit wide feet, for my wife and nephew,” Haigh said.
He’s had snow boots from mid 1990s that are still going strong and, “…look and are good as new,” Haigh said.
Jane Birks of Macungie, Lehigh County has been a loyal Moyer’s customer for more than 40 years.
She values the time and attention she gets at Moyer’s, and she understands how important it is to take care of her feet.
“They keep records of all visits and purchases so they can look back and see what size and style shoe(s) you purchased previously, and nothing is ever too difficult for them,” Birks said.
Moyer said during the 1950s and 1960s several independent shops operated in Quakertown, and patrons would go from shop to shop for shoes, hats, or whatever they needed. Then came strip malls and big box stores in the 1970s and beyond.
“If you are looking for a family service shoe store (instead of a big box store) that truly cares about your family's feet, go to Moyer's Shoe Store located on West Broad Street in down town Quakertown. I can't say enough good things about them,” Birks said.
For more information on Moyer's Shoes call 215.536.6378 or log onto their website at www.moyersshoes.com.
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