New school years often bring new arrivals in staff positions to replace retirees as they ride into the proverbial sunset.

Officials from the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind welcomed a new face in the role of director of transportation, Yalonda “Shea” Goree, on Aug. 4.

“She comes to us with a strong reputation and a commitment to serving children in the community,” AIDB President John Mascia said. “We are proud to have her become part of the AIDB family.”

Goree replaces previous Director of Transportation Leslie Matheson, who retired after 39 years of service to the institute.

“We appreciate Matheson for his service, and we wish him the very best,” Mascia said.

Prior to taking the position at AIDB, Goree supervised transportation programs for the Fayette County Board of Education.

Goree, who received her education at Shelton State Community College, received certification in both regular and special needs education transportation services. She conducts training for employees.

She also holds experience from her multiple appearances at the Southeastern State Pupil Transportation Conference and her service on the executive board of the Alabama School Transportation Association.

“Mrs. Goree has a great deal of experience and is well equipped in training of transportation personnel,” AIDB Director of Safety and Security Mike Hubbard said.

According to AIDB Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Lynne Hanner, the institute operates a statewide system of transportation services including local and area daily and weekly bus routes that transport children and adults who are deaf and blind to school and work on various AIDB campuses and locations, while also coordinating services to transport children to their home communities every third weekend during the school year for home visits.

Slightly more than a week on the job, Goree noted things have been pretty smooth in her transition.

“It’s going great,” Goree said. “Everybody’s working well together, and I’m looking forward to some new ideas. I’m looking forward to being able to work with the children who are impaired or have special needs. I’m very excited about that, and I’m looking forward to making a difference at AIDB.”

She highlighted some of the challenges ahead for the upcoming year.

“We’re working on getting a new software program in transportation so we can do inventory, mapping and GPS-ing — all of the things we can improve and help make it safer for our children,” Goree said. “Our passengers aren’t just children. We haul adults as well. That’s going to be a challenge. Our secretary, the mechanics we have and the bus drivers are going to work together. I’m looking forward to creating a team effort to get the job done.”

Contact Shane Dunaway at