HomeNewsThomas Built Buses Announces Seventh Annual 'Driver of the Year' Essay Contest

Thomas Built Buses Announces Seventh Annual ‘Driver of the Year’ Essay Contest

Thomas Built Buses is again seeking essays submitted by children nationwide that explain why their school bus drivers are the best.


“A school bus driver’s primary responsibility is to get students safely to school and home again. The essay contest provides a platform for us to shine a light on drivers who do this and so much more,” said Kelley Platt, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. “Many of the essays describe drivers who have become champions, admired mentors, trusted guardians and dear friends, and we want to recognize those drivers in a big way for the meaningful role they play in children’s lives.”


Specifically, the “Children’s Choice School Bus Driver of the Year” contest ask how drivers help make their students feel more secure on the bus and if the bus driver cares enough to greet each student by name in the morning. Does the driver organize community charitable drives? How does he or she celebrate students’ birthdays or other milestones?

Last year’s winner, Joyce St. John of Decatur, Ala., was nominated by a fifth grader who considered her bus driver to be “like my grandmother, and I even call her ‘nana’ sometimes.” St. John, a 42-year veteran who retired at the end of the 2010-2011 school year, had also been the school bus driver for the girl’s four siblings, two of which had medical issues, and her mother.

“While today’s school buses meet, and very often exceed, strict safety standards, one of the most important safety features is the one who sits behind the wheel,” Platt added.

Typed or legibly written essays of at least 90 words can include art to help students depict what makes their school bus drivers special. Entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2012. The grand-prize winning student receives a laptop computer and a $1,000 educational savings bond while the driver wins a $1,000 Visa gift card. Grand prize winners and other finalists also receive Thomas Built Buses jackets and a Saf-T-Liner C2 school bus lunch box.

Complete rules and an entry form can be found online.

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