School bus drivers have a week in the spotlight

Post date: Nov 01, 2018 6:10:34 PM

The Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) at Wells Elementary School held Bus Driver Appreciation Week from October 22 through October 26. During that time those that have the major responsibility of transporting Wells-Ogunquit CSD students to and from their respective schools, were recognized for their service.

On Monday morning, these local Ledgemere Transportation bus operators were greeted with large “thank you” signs erected at various stops along their route. Later, at their morning break at the Ledgemere bus barn, they snacked on doughnuts donated by Congdon’s Doughnuts and coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. Beginning Wednesday, drivers either found “thank you” notes waiting for them inside their buses or were handed similar notes during the week. These expressions of appreciation were created by their k through 4th grade student riders.

Back at the bus barn at lunchtime on Friday, drivers were treated to a lunch of chili donated by The Steakhouse in Wells and a cold cut platter donated by Hannaford Supermarket in Wells. Other items on the menu were provided by PTSA members. Drivers also received mugs donated by Krystle McCarthy of Rustic Designs. PTSA member Nicole Iannillo was the primary organizer of this year’s Bus Driver Appreciation Week.

According to Ledgemere Bus Terminal Manager Lauren Clark, there are currently 15 drivers who work out of the bus barn in Wells. On an average school day, her crew transports about 450 students. Ledgemere also transports students in York and Sanford but from different locations with different drivers and buses. Ledgemere Transportation is a subsidiary of Student Transportation of America.

It goes without saying that driving a school bus is a tremendous responsibility including adherence to safety at all times. However, according to Clark, one dangerous annoyance for her drivers is the occasional vehicle that attempts to illegally pass a stopped school bus that is picking up or dropping off passengers. She reiterates that it is critical for drivers not to pass a school bus when they see it stopped and showing warning indicators, including flashing lights and a raised stop sign.

At the Ledgemere bus barn location in Wells are some of Ledgemere’s bus drivers who transport Wells-Ogunquit CSD students. Standing (left to right) are Marcia Finley, Penny Johnson, Tammy Bissell, Jean Lariviere, Lauren Clark, Bill Cochran, Maurice Violette, Paul Littlefield, and Dan Hobbs. In the bus (l to r) are Rochelle Greenwood, Christine Towne, Tabitha Bergeron, and Alicia Goodwin (holding her son David).

Mugs like this one were given to all Ledgemere bus drivers to show appreciation for their work driving students in the Wells Ogunquit Community School District.