I have been a part of the many ups and downs of hundreds of our school kids. Sharing excitement from good grades, sports wins, friends made, awards and even the well-earned graduation including to wiping away tears, giving support and encouragement, to the occasional front seat assignments of life lessons. Like the time my kids on my bus route learned a tough lesson together even if the brand-new baby squirrels are cute, we don’t take them from their mother, put them in a metal lunchbox and take them on the bus to share at show and tell.
But the one story that makes and keeps my heart full and to which I keep going back to is the day a 2nd grader was getting off the bus to go home stops at the top of the stairs and turns to me to hand me a nickel and 4 pennies. I said to the student “Thank you very much but you keep your money it’s yours.” To which he says to me “Well, you’ve been driving me for quite some time now and you deserve it. So, you should keep it!” Tell me, how do you turn down 9 cents with that kind of delivery? The true appreciation from such a young soul was deeply touching. Something I will never forget. As tough as the job of a bus driver can be every day with all the student management and remarkably crazy things that happen while driving safely getting them to and from school; it’s the moments like that make it all worthwhile. Knowing you do make a difference and the kids do notice is…..priceless.
Jamie Gradt - Kettle Falls School District Bus Driver