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'They have our kids' lives in their hands': Hawkins schools express Bus Driver Appreciation

Jeff Bobo • Sep 27, 2018 at 6:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — It’s the first person they see at the beginning of their school day and the last person they see before they go home, so all this week Hawkins County students have been celebrating School Bus Driver Appreciation Month.

Hawkins County Commissioner Dawson Fields opened Monday’s commission meeting by reminding everyone of the awesome responsibility that school bus drivers have.

“This is School Bus Driver Appreciation Month, so if you see a school bus driver, shake their hand, tell them (you appreciate them),” Fields said. They have our kids’ lives in their hands. They’ve got a hard job. Probably the hardest job in Hawkins County.” 

Here’s how some schools honored their bus drivers:

Carters Valley Elementary

On Sept. 20, students at Carter’s Valley Elementary showed the bus drivers how much they appreciate them by wrapping water bottles and chocolate bars, as well as writing notes to thank the drivers for always providing them with “safe flights home.”

Keplar Elementary

Keplar students provided their bus drivers with breakfast, as well as a chorus to serenade them while they ate. Drivers were also presented with a goody bag, headache medicine, and a framed picture of a school bus with the message, “I watch 40-60 screaming kids in a mirror while driving a 40 foot box on wheels. What do you do?”

Church Hill Elementary

Church Hill Elementary students thanked their bus drivers for “flying” students safely. Drivers were presented with notes and smores kits.

Bulls Gap School

Students at Bulls Gap School celebrated bus drivers with hand written notes of appreciation and personal artwork. Bus drivers were greeted by students dancing in a bus prop and were given goody bags to fuel their day.

Mooresburg Elementary

Mooresburg Elementary students celebrated with a Wright Brothers theme. Drivers received handmade pilot hats, “in flight” snacks and “boarding passes” with a note of appreciation written by students.

Faculty and staff said, “Thank you, Brenda, Darlene, Gayle, Wilbur, Mary and Patsy for getting our students home safely.”

Surgoinsville Elementary School

Surgoinsville Elementary students greeted their bus drivers with cards, posters, music and cinnamon rolls and water for breakfast last Thursday morning to celebrate Bus Driver Appreciation Day using the Wright Brothers as their theme.

“We appreciate our bus drivers and the fabulous job they do every day.”

Hawkins Elementary School

Principal Barry Bellamy said the school would host its appreciation event Friday.

“We are going to do very nice treat bags for them and have our Appreciation Team hand them out.”

Cherokee High School

Cherokee's “A-team” greeted the bus drivers with posters made by students. Each bus driver received a gift bag and biscuit along with thank-you notes from students.

“Cherokee appreciates Hawkins County bus drivers.”

Volunteer High School

Due to homecoming week activities, Volunteer will honor its bus drivers on Thursday, Oct. 4 with notes of appreciation from the students and treat bags themed after the Wright Brothers.

Clinch School

Clinch School students made thank-you signs and cards, put together gift baskets for the drivers and worked diligently to learn and sing songs to show their appreciation to the school bus drivers.

Among the drivers honored were Gary Johnson, Angie Smith and Kenny Manis.

McPheeters Bend Elementary

McPheeters Bend students celebrated Bus Driver Appreciation Day by making cards and the announcement easel. They gifted the drivers with homemade sub sandwiches, chips, drinks, fruit cups and candy bars.

“We appreciate our drivers and are thankful to them for getting our students to and from school safely.”

Joseph Rogers Primary

Students provided their bus drivers with a note of appreciation and breakfast from Pal’s.

St. Clair Elementary

St. Clair students celebrated with their four bus drivers by providing them with breakfast from Pal’s and a small gift. We absolutely love our bus drivers: Gary Delph, Robert Mallory, James Helton and Teresa Emerson.

Church Hill Middle

The students made “treat bags” that contained fruit, crackers, candy, snack cake, water, and appreciation letters written by the students. They also made large banners to hang on the outside brick wall of the school at the bus loading area. the school had posters thru out the school honoring the bus drivers also.

Bus Garage

The Transportation Department and Director Rolando “Roy” Benavides celebrated Bus Driver Appreciation Week by honoring drivers with a pizza luncheon.

"Hawkins County Schools is very fortunate to have dedicated drivers focusing on student success."

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