Bus drivers and riders for Henderson County Public Schools will be showered with love from their school communities during N.C. School Bus Driver Appreciation Week.
Students are preparing “thank you” Valentine’s Day cards and posting signs in their schools for their drivers, while school staff members and parents plan on treating drivers to breakfasts and lunches, drawings for gift cards, and goody bags throughout the week.
Each weekday, HCPS bus drivers transport 6,300 children throughout the county, and log more than 1 million miles each year. They’re some of the first to arrive at schools in the mornings around 6 a.m., and on particularly cold days they get there even earlier to warm up the buses before starting their routes. They serve as trusted mentors, build lasting friendships with students and parents, and often perform additional duties in their schools.
“Our bus drivers have the immense responsibility of delivering the most precious cargo to and from schools,” said Superintendent Bo Caldwell. “They are positioned to make sure each student’s school day starts off on a positive note, and as superintendent, I greatly admire their dedication to transporting our students safely every day.”
To kick of the week, all bus drivers serving the East district (Atkinson Elementary, Hillandale Elementary, Upward Elementary, Flat Rock Middle, and East Henderson High) will be treated to a communal breakfast hosted by their administrators at the Cracker Barrel in Flat Rock. Other schools, including Bruce Drysdale Elementary, Clear Creek Elementary, Dana Elementary, Edneyville Elementary, Etowah Elementary, Fletcher Elementary, Glenn C. Marlow Elementary, and North Henderson High are treating their bus drivers to meals one or more days of next week, and Atkinson and East Henderson, are hosting ice cream socials for their drivers.
At Fletcher Elementary and North Henderson, students have “adopted” individual school buses, and will be responsible for sweeping and cleaning their buses throughout the week.
At North Henderson High and Edneyville Elementary, teachers will be participating in “ride alongs” with bus drivers on afternoon routes, to gain a greater appreciation for their peers and to improve relationships with students.
The school system will also be featuring individual bus driver profiles on the HCPS website and Facebook pages each day of the week, in an effort to introduce the community to some of our most beloved, reliable staff members.