True Professional

I love my bus driver because he or she is a...

...True Professional

I love my bus driver because he is the nicest person that ever driven a bus that I have ever ridden since my kindergarten school year. His name is Mr. Johnny Cole. He is the driver of bus number 9. He actually lives right down the street from where I live. He knows my mom and just about my whole family. Mr. Johnny tries not to write anyone up, but if you are doing anything that is wrong, he will talk to you and give you a warning. If it's consistent, he will go to your parents and see what they can do to help out with the situation. If it doesn't get better, he will take you to the office, and you will get suspended off the bus. He usually doesn't like writing people up that's just how nice Mr. Johnny Cole is. If I had the choice of choosing the Bus Driver of the Year, it would be Mr. Johnny Cole. He has been nice to me. One day my grandmother died, and he told me he was sorry to hear about our loss. I thanked him because I miss my grandma. When it rains, Mr. Johnny tries his best to come closer to the house so we won't get wet.

Submitted by Aleisha Graham
Student, Greenville High School
Greenville, SC

All of our drivers and monitors are super wonderful. Our children are special needs and the drivers not only drive safely, but love each and every one of the children. The monitors help each child on and off the buses and care for them at all times while on the buses.

A BIG shout out to all Floyd Knight Drivers and Monitors!

Submitted by Rosie Payne
Administrative Assistant, Floyd L. Knight School
Sanford, NC

After spending the past weekend at the State Track Meet supporting the BMHS Huskies (and my sons), I felt the need to write you and let you know what an asset to the school district Aaron Burwell is. He goes way beyond the call of duty as a bus driver and instead becomes one with the coaches and the team!

It is obvious he cares about our kids as much as we do and you should know how comforting that is to the parents of our student-athletes. He takes his job very seriously and I know he would never put my boys in danger. He is responsible in how he handles himself and expects the same from his charges. He is so involved in helping things run smoothly that when my kids were younger, they thought he was one of the coaches! He never hesitates to pitch in and help, give direction, encourage positive behavior, and demonstrate flexibility.

Our season was more enjoyable because of Aaron; in fact, my senior's past four years of high school sports were enhanced by his care and concern. The boys will miss him when they graduate.

Submitted by Deborah Robbins
Parent, Battle Mountain High School
Edwards, CO

We recently moved to Madison and not long after my kids managed to miss the bus for school. I was amazed that after our bus driver, Miss Jaime, delivered the kids she CAME BACK for mine! I'm also thrilled that during drop-off she waits until my kid gets to the door before leaving.

What a huge difference from what we had in Pennsylvania. They would take off before he was seated in the mornings and in the afternoons drop him off next to a busy street and leave him.

These gestures have made our transition back in Ohio a bit easier and I really appreciate our new bus driver.

Submitted by Karen Miller
Mother, Red Bird Elementary
Madison, OH

On the afternoon of January 27, 2010, a special needs bus driven by Debbie Sellers, with Diana Goldwire the attendant, was travelling on Martin Luther King Blvd. towards the intersection of John Young Pkwy., when Diana noticed a pedestrian walking on the sidewalk suddenly fall to the ground and begin having a seizure. Diana called out to Debbie and pointed out the fallen man. Debbie quickly stopped the bus in a safe location, called the dispatcher on the bus radio, requested emergency medical assistance and provided information while Diana left the bus to assist the man. Diana made sure the man stayed on his side to keep from choking and kept checking to see that he was breathing and that his airway remained open. While recovering from a second seizure, the man was startled and began to panic when the sirens of the approaching rescue vehicles grew louder. Diana distracted him and calmed him by talking to him. When the paramedics arrived Diana told them what had happened. They left the area to continue to their elementary school and took their students home.

Debbie has worked for our department for 7 years, (5 as an attendant and 2 as a school bus operator). She is a wife and mother totally dedicated to making a difference in the lives of her family, coworkers and students. She said "All I could think of was that this man needed us to help him, he has a family somewhere that cares for him."

Diana is the single mother of two girls, she holds two jobs to provide for her family and is the primary caregiver of her medically challenged mother and brother. Diana said "I wanted to assist the man because of her training and to honor the memory of her Uncle who was also homeless."

Submitted by Bev Hughes
Transportation Area Manager, Osceola District Schools
Kissimmee, FL

I have had the great fortune to be blessed with a career in which I am surrounded with so many unique people with such varied talent. But this is not only a comment on talent but one of dedication, humbleness, and great worth.

I chose to participate in "Love the Bus" a NCDPI initiative because of a desire to show appreciation for the Brunswick County Transportation Department, and Bolivia Elementary Bus Drivers. What I got from it was a greater appreciation of the dedication of some wonderful people.

I realized while coming to work quite early one morning that there are drivers, mechanics, monitors, numerous people who rise by 4:30 am every morning to place buses safely and consistently on our roads to transport our precious children.

These individuals are single parents, heads of households, siblings, people whose day start at 4:30 only to end after working sometimes two or three jobs to provide for those who depend on them. Many are teacher's assistants who bring students safely only to teach an entire day, lovingly, and then start the trek home.

If I were blessed with overflowing resources I would "love" them in a monetary way. I even searched for awards to nominate them for. None were found. All I can give is my deep gratitude, my continued appreciation for their amazing abilities, and a pride in knowing that our Brunswick County Transportation Department, and our Bolivia Bus Drivers deserved to be "loved" each and every day.

Submitted by Melissa W. Harris
Assistant Principal
Bolivia Elementary School, Bolivia, NC

I have a wonderful story about my child's school bus driver, Phyllis. Phyllis has now retired and has moved to Arizona. She is my inspiration and why I am now behind the wheel of a school bus.

When my son was in second grade, he was waiting on the corner for the elementary bus to arrive. A little boy shoved my son to the ground in front of Phyllis' oncoming school bus. She stopped short of running my son over. She saved his life. I then came to realize that this job cannot be taken lightly or any routine route taken for granted. I recently wrote Phyllis a letter thanking her for this and how she has been my inspiration to follow in her footsteps. My son is now a sophomore in high school.

Submitted by Kathy Gorecki 
School Bus Driver
Leyden High Schools, Northlake, Ill.

Bonnie graduated high school in 1945. She will never forget there was a student who was a senior and he drove a school bus into Sperry, Iowa. She thought to herself that would be a great job.

After high school she married and had three children. She waited until her children were in school before she approached the Principal of Stanhope (John Gannon) about becoming a school bus driver.

Bonnie was soon hired, and became the first woman bus driver in the area. But this did not settle well with the men. They went to the school board and complained about a woman driving a school bus. The Principal knew Bonnie and knew she could do it; he told the male drivers and the school board that she was driving for him and that was that.

Bonnie drove for Stanhope for approximately five years. Bonnie continued driving a school bus in several towns for several years.

When she moved to Des Moines, she tried to get on at Des Moines Public School and could not get hired. They had hired about four women and they had accidents and had not done very well. Bonnie became a waitress at Noah's restaurant for about a year and had continually tried to get hired for driving a bus. She was working one day and the people at the table asked her why she was waitressing. Bonnie was very good at whatever she did and they new she had potential to do something else. She told them she had been trying to get on at the school district to drive a bus, but was unsuccessful. Not a lot more was said and Bonnie kept working that day.

The next day she got a call from the Des Moines Schools transportation department to come be a school bus driver. The people she waited on at the table the day before were Des Moines School Board Members!

She started driving for Des Moines Public Schools in 1973. Bonnie is still driving a school bus today for the Des Moines Public Schools. She really enjoys being with her special needs students. She says they make her day; she loves her kids and does not see retiring any time soon.

Submitted by Sherry Bickett
Transportation Route Manager
Des Moines Public Schools, Des Moines, Iowa

Chester County, Pennsylvania is home a school bus driver, known as Miss Donna, who has given 24 years to driving the same route with perfect attendance and accident-free driving.

Miss Donna drives Bus #36 for the West Chester Area School District and recently received an award at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg.

Children who ride on Miss Donna’s bus call her "loyal," "dedicated," and a "friend."

Submitted by Artie Lebori
School Bus Driver
West Chester, Penn.

One day on her usual bus route, a Lakewood, Ohio school bus driver, Janet Robberts, was dropping a student off and noticed the front door was open.  The driver asked the student to open the garage door remotely and they saw the door inside was open also.

Robberts notified the bus garage of what happened and had them notify the parents that she was keeping the student on the bus.  The local county Sherriff’s Office was contacted and deputies determined that the house had been robbed.

The school district received a letter of appreciation from the student’s parents and Robberts credits the training that drivers receive for her quick thinking.  Robberts is in her fifth year of driving the same route for the school district.

Submitted by Mike Whittington
Lakewood, Ohio