You might have seen this bus located around Hays, whether that be at a FHSU football games or parked in the driveway of a house on 7th street near campus. It has even been on national television during a tailgate at a K-State game. The Skewl Bus is owned by Jesy Strnad, better known around Hays as Headband Jesy, a junior at FHSU. Jesy bought the bus from the Republic County school district, located in his home town. Since the purchase, he has remodeled it and brought it to countless sporting events, making it a favorite around town.
Jesy had been looking for a school bus for over a year online before stumbling among this one from his old high school. It was sitting outside of the district bus lot and had a for-sale sign on it. He decided to make a bid on it 10 minutes before the auction closed for $501. A week later, the superintendent came up to him letting him know he had won the auction.
“(He) told me not to have too much fun with it, but I definitely didn’t listen to that,” Jesy said.
Jesy had to drag out nearly 30 seats that the district had piled in there through the years to begin renovating his new purchase. He picked out the best ones and positioned them sideways in the bus to allow for more room for activities. He then added pole mounts on the outside of the bus, so he could fly his favorite flags on game-days. He then had an art teacher cut out the vinyl lettering to spell “Skewl” so that he could cover the original lettering. On the side of the bus he added hashtags such as #HookEmHerd, #EMAW, and most importantly #RollTiges. Overall, it took him about 8-10 hours of work to get it exactly how he wanted.
Jesy has taken the Skewl Bus all over the state, traveling to games, concerts, and even proms. One of his favorite memories, he said, was when Logan Mize, a Kansas Native and Nashville recording artist, signed his bus following a concert at the Fox Pavilion in Downtown Hays.
“I tweeted at Logan a time or three, and finally the day of the concert he said he’d do it,” Jesy said. “So, I waited an hour after the show after everyone else took their pictures and went up said ‘hi, I’m the guy with the Bus.’ and he’s like ‘Sweet where’s it at?!’ So, we went out and he signed it and we chatted a bit.”
The bus has been signed by many people, however most of them are simply just students or fellow partiers.
“Another favorite memory of mine would have to be when my friend Abbey Anderson got on the Bus and said she needed to sign her name on the roof again, since she got married. So now there’s an Abbey Anderson and an Abbey Allen and that’s pretty heartwarming. So now when all my female friends get on I think about what their next signature’s going to say.”
Jesy said he wants to keep the Skewl Bus for at least another five years so he can use it for his friends’ weddings.
“I have no idea how much money it’ll take but it’d be really cool is if someday when my kids and their friends are get to use it and check out where their parents signed,” Jesy said.
As for the next big trip the bus will take, it’ll probably just be back to his home town once the football season is over.
“We joked we should take it to KC if Hays makes the Natty, but I’ve found out she’s better suited to spending 30 or 45 minutes at a time on the back two-lane highways of North Central Kansas doing 60 mph rather than three hours doing 70 or 80 mph on I-70.”