Disclaimers: First, I love story format, so the names used are not actually the drivers names in order to protect their identity. With that in mind and without taking away the true heart of the driver, I may even change up a few details. Second, There are hundreds of bus drivers that work for Atlanta Public Schools, so the stories I share are the ones that I personally witnessed or heard, but I am certain that there are many more stories to be told of drivers bravery and commitment to get these children home safe.
I will tell stories about my Atlanta Public School Family, APS Bus Drivers! I love them greatly! I start with Mr. K who got an early jump on getting kids home safely yesterday in the snow storm. Not only did he get my elementary, then my middle/high school route (because I was stuck in traffic), he also managed to pick up two more routes of other bus drivers. You would think that when you have completed about 6 routes in ice & snow, you earned the right to go home, right? No, Mr. K did not, he continued to rescue stranded bus drivers and students until he himself had gotten stuck in the ice. Mr. K with a kind humble spirit did not complain, he got out the bus and hiked to the nearest APS driver that could rescue him. What do I love about this man, he is a cancer survivor of one of the worse kind. Never once did he complain, but rather "Supervisor" do you want me to go to "such or such" school and pick up the kids! Yes, my family are survivors, and snow may slow us down, but it will not stop us from trying! Love you, Bus Drivers!
"Momma Gee" is around the age of my mother. She has a big welcoming boisterous personality, you for sure know "Momma Gee" in the room. In addition, she is very giving, there's been several times that she has fed me and others, and I love her for that. (Yes, all my bus driving family knows that food is the way to my heart). Now, "Momma Gee" knees are not too great and she have difficulties at times getting around, but BOY this woman makes up for it on a bus. You see, "Momma Gee" sure can push a bus and stretch it to the limits. She proved these abilities on yesterday with about half-tank fuel and managed to pick a large amount of stranded students & drivers before finally having to retire for the night due low fuel. When other bus drivers tried to make it to stranded buses and did not, she made it! I imagine if she had a full-tank, every kid in Atlanta might had been home by 230am, if it was up to the giving heart of "Momma Gee."
It's 3am in the morning and I have just gotten back from work. I am tired but happy because I am learning a valuable lesson about people. I've learned that when one works hand & hand with another person for a common cause or goal, a person starts to realize how truly human we are and if we only can get past our critical nature, then we'll start to see the beauty in everyone.
With that said, I get to witness the value of our counterparts to driving school bus, the mechanics! Mike, Thornton, & Jermaine and a few others are mechanics for Atlanta Public School Transportation. Today, I had the opportunity to work alongside these men as they work hard to get APS school bus unstuck out of the ice, jump off buses whose batteries were dead, fix mechanical failures, and accomplish all this in 16 degree weather at night with jokes and laughter! (One of the mechanics did not even have heat in his work truck) Thank God the schools are closed another day because we have several more buses to acquire, but with these determined mechanics, we will be ready come Friday morning! Thank you APS mechanics for working overtime to help drivers recover their buses and getting ready for school on Friday!