HIGH POINT, N.C. — Hundreds of children across the country nominated their favorite school bus driver for Thomas Built Buses’ annual Children’s Choice School Bus Driver of the Year national essay contest.
The winning essay was submitted by Keirra, a fifth-grader from Acworth, Ga. Her 90-word essay listed the reasons driver Angelia Woodie of Cobb County School District deserved to be recognized.
Keirra’s essay, written as a poem, included the following passage:
“…My bus driver is as kind as she can be
And she inspires me to be happy…
To the greatest driver alive…Mrs. Woodie.”
Woodie has been driving school buses for the past 14 years. As Thomas Built Buses’ 2007 School Bus Driver of the Year, she will receive a $1,000 Visa gift card. Keirra will be awarded a $1,000 educational savings bond and a laptop computer. The two also received Thomas Built jackets and Saf-T-Liner C2 school bus lunch boxes.
Two runners-up and their bus drivers were also selected from this year’s nominations. Clay, 10, from Wylie, Texas, nominated driver Leon Flanagan of the Wylie Independent School District. Andrew, 10, from LaGrange, Ky., nominated driver Alisa Bisenius of Oldham County School District. All runners-up and their drivers received Thomas Built jackets and Saf-T-Liner C2 school bus lunch boxes.
Thomas Built Buses created the national Children’s Choice School Bus Driver of the Year essay contest in 2006 during its 90th anniversary year to recognize and thank bus drivers for their work. Now in its second year, the contest has become a tradition, according to the company.
Representatives from Durham School Services, part of National Express Corp., SCHOOL BUS FLEET magazine and Thomas Built Buses judged the entries for content and originality. Thomas Built Buses verified driver qualifications with each district.
For more information on the contest, photos and scans of top-placing essays and accompanying illustrations, visit www.thomasbus.com/contest.