Christopher Verde, the school district with no schools, officially no longer exists. Gov. Janet Napolitano signed into law Monday a bill that disbands the “transportation-only” district.
Created in November by north Scottsdale-area voters, its only function would have been to bus students living within it to neighboring districts while exempting its taxpayers from many school taxes.
The former district now will join the Cave Creek Unified School District.
And yet a loose end remains: Who is Christopher Verde?
Maricopa County schools spokesman Alan Richardson said Tuesday that he doesn’t know. The question had been raised a few times before, he said, but he never got to ask the one person who named the district after it was created last fall, county schools Superintendent Sandra Dowling.
Dowling was out of town Tuesday and could not be reached for comment. Richardson said he suspects that the word “Verde” came from Rio Verde, a small community northeast of Scottsdale that was in the district, but he had no idea about “Christopher.”
Neither do I. So, until Dowling reveals the true origin of the name of the now-gone district, here’s someone I discovered through an Internet search engine. By virtue of his occupation — and how good he is at it — he could serve as an excellent stand-in.
A man named Christopher Verde is a school bus driver for the Clark County School District, which serves greater Las Vegas. A co-worker wrote in the district’s employee newsletter that he’s a darn good bus driver, devoted to children.
“Chris continually goes above and beyond when transporting our special education students at Thiriot Elementary School. You can tell he truly cares for the safety and wellbeing of all the students on his bus,” the co-worker wrote in a column in the winter 2007 Insider called, “RAVE Reviews.”
“Parents always compliment him, and as an office worker, I have on several occasions personally experienced his assistance. I appreciate all the extra effort he gives in taking care of our students.”
Clark County district spokesman Steve Lombard said Tuesday that Verde has driven for it for nine years. That co-worker’s write-up was one of 12 randomly selected from hundreds on good employees for the column, he said.
A phone message left with Lombard for Verde was not returned Tuesday.
School districts are often named for civic and governmental personages. But I don’t know of one that honors a bus driver. So until we learn the Verde district’s name’s real origin, why not say it honors an attentive Nevada school bus driver whose name coincidentally is the same as one given an Arizona district known for bus transportation?
For the first time, I’m regretting this district’s demise.