School districts publicly appreciated their transportation departments during the month of February, which was designated by the American School Bus Council as "Love the Bus" month and also contains School Bus Driver Appreciation Week.
Leaders in several state governments got involved. In Delaware, Gov. John Carney recognized school bus drivers and aides in a proclamation. State Secretary of Education Susan Bunting and Capitol School District Superintendent Dan Shelton visited a local middle school to deliver personal thanks to drivers dropping students off.
North Carolina's state Superintendent of Public Schools Mark Johnson made visits to several districts, including the Pitt County School District. Numerous districts throughout the state showed how much they appreciated their school bus drivers by having student riders present them with gifts and handmade cards.
The Texas Association of Pupil Transportation notified all the state’s districts through an email and encouraged them to participate in the #LoveTheBus contest by posting pictures on social media and tagging them with #LovetheBus. The ASBC will award Visa gift cards for up to $250 to the top three selected posts.
School bus driver David Black received many glowing parent and student nominations to win the first-ever Elementary Driver of the Year award from Alabama’s Trussville City Schools. Transportation Coordinator Dale Posey subsequently nominated Black for the 2018 Love the Bus State of Alabama School Bus Driver of the Year award, which he also won.
“David Black is a bus driver that comes to work every day and makes a difference in the lives of his students,” Posey told STN.
Drivers at Glendale Elementary School District in Arizona were made a ‘candy cake’ to appreciate their work. “It’s a migrant population with many low income families depending on school buses to get their students to and from school each day,” explained Doris Bean, manager of transportation. “At Glendale the importance of the yellow bus is for safety in getting students to school for academics, tutoring, after school programs like the Boys and Girls Club of Glendale.”
Port Clinton City Schools in Ohio publicly recognized its drivers through social media posting, emails and press releases. They also utilized the personal touch of having students send handmade cards that then adorned the walls of the transportation and maintenance facility, said Transportation Director Bill Lowe.
Students who are part of the district’s digital media team also created a video for the occasion, which can be seen below.
In Oregon’s Bend-La Pine Schools, Director of Transportation Kim Crabtree invited students and staff to thank school bus drivers with a note or hand-drawn picture. “These staff members begin their days before the sun is up and drive to the furthest corners of our school district to provide safe, reliable transportation to thousands of students each day,” she reminded.
“We have been celebrating Love the Bus this month with our teams across the Great Lakes and East coast,” shared Virginia Aparicio, spokeswoman for school bus contractor National Express, Llc.