NAVARRE, Fla. — A boy with autism here has been recognized by Student Transportation of America (STA) for his devotion to school buses.
John Fowler lives next door to STA’s Navarre school bus terminal in Santa Rosa County, Florida. Fowler, who has severe autism, loves school buses. Every day he climbs a tree to look over the fence and watch the buses come and go. He keeps track of the ones that come in and out of the yard, and even goes so far as to tell STA’s local terminal manager which buses have and haven’t returned.
Last week, as the school year wrapped up, STA’s team in Navarre presented Fowler with an STI Cares Brand Ambassador goodie bag with items such as T-shirts, a clipboard, pencils, a water bottle, a lanyard, and his very own pair of school bus sneakers, which he was most excited about.
Also included with the care package was a letter from Denis Gallagher Jr., STA’s southeast vice president of operations, asking Fowler to call the STA Navarre terminal when he gets old enough if he would like a job working with school buses.
“All the drivers know ‘the boy in the tree,’” Gallagher Jr. said. “When our local terminal manager, Shay Peek, had told me about John’s love for school buses it seemed only right to make him feel like part of the team. We pulled together some gear for him so he could not only look the part, but perform his task of counting off the buses as they come in and out of the yard. He’s a special boy, and we can only hope someone with his passion for what we do can join us in an official capacity once he’s old enough.”