• 68°

Love the bus: School system celebrates bus drivers

By Rebecca Rider


SALISBURY — This week, Rowan-Salisbury Schools tipped its hat to education’s “unsung heroes”: bus drivers.

“A lot of times what they do kind of goes unnoticed,” Transportation Director Tim Beck said.

February is “Love the Bus” month, and the past week was Bus Driver Appreciation Week. Each day, the 250 bus drivers work to ferry 10,000 students to and from school on about 185 buses.

“That’s a huge accomplishment,” Beck said.

Schools throughout the district have been celebrating in different ways, hosting breakfasts, providing gift bags or just taking the time to celebrate the wheels that keep schools moving forward. Beck said CiCi’s Pizza donated a free buffet card to each driver.

On Friday morning, Superintendent Lynn Moody paid a personal visit to bus drivers at Shive Elementary School in Rockwell to express her appreciation.

Shive Assistant Principal Scotty Adcock said the school’s bus drivers cover a combined 250 miles daily and have nearly 200 years of experience among them.

Bus drivers are the first school employee students see in the morning and the last one they see at the end of the day, Moody said. Their ability to not only get students to and from school safely but also to build relationships with them is invaluable, she said.

“They set the tone for the entire day,” she said.

Moody spent the morning shadowing a Shive bus driver, hopping aboard Jill Kovach’s Bus 168 at Rockwell Elementary and riding its Shive route.

“If you want to get an understanding of all the kids we serve, you really need to ride the bus,” Moody said.

As each child boarded the bus, Kovach would greet them by name and ask if the student had told his parents that it was an early-release day. If a child was missing from a group getting on, she asked about him or her.

Bus drivers have a lot of responsibility, Moody said. They’re singlehandedly in charge of keeping order among nearly 60 students while still driving safely and following required procedures.

Moody said she knew having the superintendent as a passenger only added to the pressure, but she said that Kovach was “very cordial” and the bus ride was a joy — with students singing “Happy Birthday” to each other and chattering despite the early hour.

Moody said she is grateful she has the opportunity to work with people who care so much about children.

For Beck, Bus Driver Appreciation Week is a chance to shine the spotlight on a group of people who are often left out. Beck said he always sees signs giving thanks to or praising teachers, but people tend to forget about bus drivers. He said he is happy for the chance to let the public know that bus drivers play a vital role in schools.

“Education starts and stops at transportation,” he said.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 


China Grove

Reaper’s Realm owners promise beefed-up security after weekend shooting


Contractor expands local footprint, takes on county’s coronavirus projects


Home Improvement: Holiday gifts to spark home improvement ideas


Political Notebook: Local parties will host watch parties for presidential debate


China Grove man cited for driving through school field


October closure hearings set for Faith, Enochville elementary schools


Police say man gave false name after high speed chase, crashing into lumber truck


Nearly 400 cases considered currently active in the county


Rowan-Cabarrus Community College creates free course to help parents tackle virtual learning


New unemployment claims down in August, could indicate positive trend for businesses


Salisbury man faces drug possession charges after overdose call


Police: Man charged after children call 911 from neighbor’s house

Ask Us

Ask Us: Who are people behind sign at City Park playground?


Prison in Salisbury latest site of COVID-19 outbreak


Blotter: Salisbury Man charged with felony assault by strangulation


Trump vows quick Supreme Court vote, Biden urges delay for Nov. 3


New rule may strip pollution protections from popular lakes

East Spencer

East Spencer draws crowd for annual community day


In Rowan’s legislative races, Howard, Warren get off to strongest start in fundraising


From Navy SEAL to Medicare agent, Trent Waller looks to continue serving his community


In 13th Congressional District race, Budd, Huffman differ on government’s role in COVID-19 help


Rowan County Telecommunications joins new state digital 911 system


School board will consider scheduling public hearings for Faith, Enochville closures


Biz Roundup: Food Lion makes donation to support racial equality and justice