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Solution Seeker Spotlight: Lyn Nakashima, Transportation

Each month we feature staff members dedicated to being Solution Seekers in our district.   

 Lyn waves from the drivers seat of a school busLyn Nakashima, driver trainer on our Transportation team, loves helping others and bringing creative solutions to problems big and small. She knows that thinking outside the box, and encouraging others to do the same, helps our district be the best we can be. 

Tell us about yourself.  

I am a certified driver trainer in the Transportation department and have worked in NTPS for 20 years. 

My family came to America from Scotland when I was four years old. Lacey was our location of choice, and we arrived here that April. I turned five in June and started kindergarten at Lydia Hawk Elementary School. My husband, children, grandchildren, and I are all products of North Thurston Public Schools – my husband was even my high school sweetheart at NTHS! I enjoy gardening.  

I am the transportation president for our union group (PSE) and have held a position with PSE for 17 of the last 18 years. I have also worked for Lacey Parks and Recreation for the past 19 years. I love all these positions! My students help keep me young, and working with bus driver trainees fills my need for adult conversation. NTPS transportation department is a great place to be. Come over, and we will let you drive one of us around the bus yard! It is an enlightening experience.   

What do you like best about your job?  

I love the kids. I love my coworkers. I love positively impacting everyone I meet. I love that I am now in a position with the district to help others. I am blessed to be here. 

I appreciate how our Transportation leadership listens to our staff and drivers. They are always willing to engage in conversations, hear our concerns, and work together to problem solve.

Lyn stands with Transportation directors Deron and Garrett in their officeWhy is being a Solution Seeker important to you?   

I like to approach a problem with a solution in mind. Beginning the process by thinking outside the box can help others feel comfortable thinking outside of their box too! We can come up with the best solution by working together and thinking creatively. I want North Thurston Public Schools and our people to be the best possible.   

Can you share a story where you experienced problem-solving in action?   

I always try to provide a possible solution to any challenge that arises. I have offered to double-run elementary schools, giving up my 10–15 minute break but allowing students to get home on time. The district called a meeting to discuss Transportation being short-staffed and needing to outsource driving work. I came to the meeting with a solution of hiring a non-CDL holder to drive vans for the district in an emergency situation. This solution keeps routes running and students in school while allowing the district to keep its legal obligations to our students and families.