Hats Off to Bus Drivers
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By Kim Underwood
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
FEBRUARY 11, 2020 – At Southwest Elementary, students kicked off Love the Bus week by giving bus drivers cards that kindergarten students had made, along with boxes of chocolates and bright smiles.
When each bus pulled up, Assistant Principal Justin Marckel and the girls – two from kindergarten and two from first grade – would wait for the students on the bus to step down and then they would head to the bus, where one of the girls would present the driver a card and chocolates.
After receiving hers, driver Tammy Templeton said, “It’s special for them to appreciate bus drivers.”
Asked what she liked about driving bus, Templeton said, “I love children.”
“We are extremely thankful for all that our bus drivers do,” Marckel said. “They have to get students to school safely and take them home safely every single day. We hope that our small tokens of appreciation let them know how grateful we really are for them.”
Feb. 10-14 is Love the Bus Week, and, throughout the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system, students and staff members are finding ways to let bus drivers know how much they mean to them.
One of the students greeting the drivers at Southwest on Monday was kindergartener Addison Ellington, whose mother, Sarah Ellington, teaches fifth grade at Southwest.
Ellington appreciates what do for her students and the other students at the school.
“They are responsible for their well-being,” Ellington said. “I think they do a great job with that.”
Principal Summer Jackson is impressed by the work that bus drivers do.
“It takes a ton of patience to do what they do on a daily basis,” she said. “Hats off to them.”
Cindy Bullock, who is a teacher assistant who works with students with special needs, also meets the buses each morning. Standing at the entrance to the building, she checked off the buses as they arrived, and, in many cases, greeted students by name as they came in.
“I think we are all grateful that we have such great drivers,” Bullock said. “They are all great with the kids.”
“They care about the kids. They do a great job getting the kids here safely. They are protective of the kids.”
“They really care - starting off their day the best way they can.”
When bus driver Deanie Foster came into the building, she stopped for a moment to pose with the girls.
Sometimes people say critical things about bus drivers, Foster said, and it means a lot to her when drivers are recognized in a positive way.
“It’s great to be recognized for what we do,” Foster said.