Go into a school administration office in the morning or right after school, and you might hear two-way chatter between staff and school bus drivers regarding arrivals or departures on the radio.
They might be discussing which student won’t be taking the bus home, or the office staff may be announcing over the PA for a student to get to their bus quickly.
Such is the daily routine of school bus operations. But there is more to it than that for drivers.
There’s the early morning wakeup to go and get their buses warmed up and ready. The stops at each residence for pickup, then dropoff to the school.
They have to repeat this for the afternoon runs home. And it’s likely dinner time or later before they get home.
Then there are the field trips and sports tournaments that the drivers make themselves available for, including weekends.
It is for these and other activities that the bus drivers in the Smoky River region were recognized with School Bus Driver Appreciation Day on May 7. As the students were unloaded at Ecole Routhier and Georges P. Vanier that morning, staff came out with gifts for each of the drivers. Also, at Ecole Routhier, the fences were lined with students’ posters that detailed their appreciation to the bus drivers for all that they do for them.
Some of the students placed themselves in their posters, including Nathaniel Reid in the photo at the top left.