School bus drivers play an essential role in the school day of countless students, but some drivers go above and beyond to ensure the welfare of their student riders.
CalAmp (Nasdaq: CAMP), a connected intelligence company helping businesses and people track, monitor and recover vital assets with real-time visibility and insights, honors an exemplary driver, Sherry Barnes of Paradise Unified School District — the latest recipient of the Bus Guardian® Hero award.
When the pandemic struck, CalAmp and its pupil transportation subsidiary responded to the threat of the virus with the Bus Guardian solution, which delivers accurate and timely contact tracing, driver wellness checks and hygiene verifications via a rugged, cab-based tablet and intuitive software. The Bus Guardian Hero program was put in place to honor the finest school bus drivers in North America for their contributions to students and their communities.
Amidst a difficult return to schools during the pandemic and skyrocketing driver demand, bus drivers across the country have become true heroes, working to get children around North America back into classrooms safely. Sherry Barnes is one such hero. When many shy away when things get difficult, Barnes is inspired to dive in headfirst.
More About Barnes
On November 8, 2018, the Camp Fire wildfire took the homes, businesses, community and, tragically for some, the lives of those living in Butte County, California. The fire was one of the most deadly and devastating wildfires in California history, and also Barnes’ inspiration for becoming a bus driver. When many people simply relocated to other areas, Barnes dedicated herself to restoring a community that needed her support. Understandably, Barnes’ selfless and loving attitude perfectly equipped her for the role.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Paradise Unified School District implemented a service called Meals on Yellow Wheels, providing essential food distribution around the area. Always happy to dedicate her time for the betterment of her district, Barnes would spend several hours a day packing food and delivering it to students who rely on school meals for a balanced and healthy diet.
As a Bus Guardian Hero winner, Barnes will receive a $250 gift card, as well as a $1,000 donation to the nonprofit of her choice, courtesy of CalAmp. For Barnes, selecting Paradise Stronger was a no-brainer. Paradise Stronger is a community activation organization that played a crucial role in rebuilding the local district following the 2018 fires.
“We’ve known Sherry for several years and she always arrives with a smile and good energy,” shared Aaron Singer, founder of Paradise Stronger. “Sherry is very welcoming to new people and has an uncanny ability to strike up a warm conversation with whoever is around. Sherry is an open book. She will connect with you with sincerity and genuineness.”
Don’t Just Take Our Word for It
“In addition to excelling at the tactical and safety aspects of her job, Sherry floods her buses with positive affirmations and has an arsenal of strategies to help keep the children occupied while she keeps them safe on the road,” shared Chris Rinesmith, Barnes’ nominator. “Her rare ability to help her students focus on the positive aspects of life is a quality that we are proud to celebrate.”
Bus Guardian allows school administrators to create instant and actionable reporting of school bus ridership for drivers and students based on contact tracing, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists as essential to combating COVID-19. The solution is also equipped with a hygiene verification system to help administrators monitor and report on real-time driver sanitization efforts.
“While the CalAmp team is proud to provide a student ridership and contact tracing solution to districts across the country, our efforts would be for nothing without the hard work of the Bus Guardian Heroes like Sherry behind the wheel,” said Bill Westerman, VP of product management at CalAmp. “It is so important to give these individuals the credit they deserve, and we’re honored to be able to share their extraordinary stories.”
To learn more about CalAmp’s solutions for K-12 education and schedule a demo, visit: www.calamp.com/solutions/k-12-education.