Karen Wetherald has been tentatively named the new transportation director of the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.
School board members will be asked to ratify the decision at their meeting Dec. 10.
“I’m very excited to be part of something special with such a great staff,” said Wetherald, the wife of businessman Tom Wetherald. “I’m just assessing things before I start making changes.”
Karen Wetherald replaces Monica Coburn, who served 10 years as director of the school system’s more than 120 school buses. Wetherald worked as transportation director in the Flat Rock-Hawcreek school system before coming to this school system two years ago as transportation safety
Linda DeClue, assistant superintendent for human resources, said 24 people from inside and outside the school district applied for the transportation director’s job when it became available.
She said among the qualities that put Karen Wetherald over the top were her experience as a transportation director, familiarity with Bartholomew County and dedication to maximizing school bus safety.
DeClue said winter is a critical time for the school district, given the dangers posed by ice and snow to school buses and the children who ride them. She said hiring Karen Wetherald means the school system has a transportation director who is ready.
A lifelong resident of Columbus, Wetherald and her husband of 24 years have two daughters, Tasha Rieckers, 24, and Tessa Wetherald, 20; and a granddaughter, TaLynn Rieckers.
Wetherald will be paid $70,000 a year, compared to the $72,000 salary Coburn was paid.