District’s students show appreciation for their bus drivers

Post date: Nov 07, 2014 1:34:18 PM

Each fall, the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) at Wells Elementary School sponsors a ‘Bus Driver Appreciation Week’ to acknowledge and thank those who have the responsibility of safely delivering students to and from school.

Bus Driver Appreciation Week occurred at WES from October 20th thru the 24th. On the 20th during their morning run, drivers were greeted with a large ‘thank you’ sign placed prominently on the lawn of WES. Drivers were treated to a morning snack including coffee and bagels. At student dismissal time, kindergarteners presented handmade ‘thank you’ cards to their drivers. Over the next four days, 1st through 4th grade students followed suit with their own cards.

The week wrapped up with more food delivered to the drivers’ lunch and break area at Ledgemere Transportation Inc.’s bus terminal in Wells. Presented at that time was a specially made cake plus gifts. Bus Driver Appreciation Week at WES was coordinated by PTSA members Denise Knobloch and Sarah Koh.

On November 4th, the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and the Student Council at Wells Junior High School recognized their school’s bus drivers with coffee, muffins, bagels, scones, apples and juice delivered to the drivers at Ledgemere in Wells.

“The students here love their bus drivers,” said Librarian and Student Council co-advisor Lynn Mercier. “They speak very favorably of their bus drivers.” Mercier and co-advisor Cindy Mitchell work with the PTO to put on this annual early morning lunch as a show of appreciation.

According to Terminal Manager Lauren Clark, Ledgemere currently has 16 drivers who transport 850 students to and from school in Wells and Ogunquit each school day.

Clark indicated that Bus Driver Appreciation Week at WES coincided with National School Bus Safety Week. To brush up on safety, drivers reminded student passengers of safety rules and conducted bus evacuation drills with them during the week of October 20th.

Clark wants to remind all drivers that bus safety is dangerously compromised when drivers fail to come to a complete stop for school busses that have stopped to pick up or drop off students.

“We see it daily,” said Clark, who estimates that six to seven cars illegally go through bus lights each day even though these buses have clearly stopped for passengers with lights flashing and stop signs extended. Clark indicated that “it is critical” for drivers to stop and not attempt to pass a stopped school bus when they see those familiar warning indicators on school busses.

Clark indicated that Ledgemere’s parent company is Student Transportation of America. Locally, Ledgemere also transports students in Sanford, Kittery, Berwick, York, Kezar Falls and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Caption: Ledgemere bus drivers in Wells: Top row sitting in the bus are (l-r) Jean LaRiviere, Christine Towne, Tabitha Bergeron, and Richard Bissell. Standing outside of the bus (l to r) are Lauren Clark, Rochelle Greenwood, Bill Cochran, Joe Nugent, Dan Hungerford, John Harris, Tammy Bissell, and Debbie Carmel.