TEMPE, Ariz. — A pupil transportation professional here recently received a heartwarming letter from a student from her bus driver days who wanted to thank her for her kindness.
Jessica Palmer, the director of transportation and safety for Tempe Elementary District #3, shared with Wrangler News a letter she received from Alex Hernandez, a student who rode her bus years ago. In the letter, Hernandez wrote that he was teased for being small for his age, according to the news source, and that Palmer protected him. He added that although he “didn’t always like school,” he loved riding the bus and appreciated her being there to say things like “Good morning,” “Have a great day,” and “Remember to make good choices.”
“You were the adult in my life that told me I could make a difference, I could do anything I put my heart to,” Hernandez wrote.
He had heard that Palmer became the transportation director at the school district, and encouraged her to pass her compassion to her employees, to help students.
Palmer told School Bus Fleet that she was touched when she received the letter from Hernandez.
“It's just what I needed at this time in my career,” she said. “We get stuck in the day-to-day activities, driving students to school. We often lose sight of what's most important: inspiring excellence in every child, every adult, every day.”
Palmer told Wrangler News that she reminds her drivers that they set the tone for the students’ day, and that they have the opportunity to make an impact in their passengers’ lives. Due to a bus driver shortage, she still drives often, and still always greets the students the way she used to when she was a full-time bus driver.
Hernandez is now a high school senior and is planning to attend college, to study to become a teacher, according to the newspaper.