ST. PAUL, Minn. — To recognize Minnesota school bus drivers, who safely transport more than 760,000 students to and from school each day, Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed Feb. 22 the state's first-ever School Bus Driver Appreciation Day.
The Minnesota School Bus Operators Association (MSBOA) and Minnesota Association for Pupil Transportation (MAPT) teamed up to create School Bus Driver Appreciation Day as a way to encourage school leaders, parents, and students to celebrate the often overlooked profession.
Appreciation cards were made available for students around the state to download to fill out and deliver to school bus drivers on Wednesday.
“School bus drivers transport parents’ most precious cargo — their children — day in and day out, and they do this job humbly and with great pride,” MSBOA President Josh Schiffler said. “We are thankful that Gov. Dayton has declared Feb. 22 School Bus Driver Appreciation Day in Minnesota so that we can give these quiet heroes the recognition they deserve.”
A press conference held in St. Louis Park on Wednesday provided an opportunity for parents, students, and school administrators to recognize several Minnesota school bus drivers. Minnesota Education Commissioner Dr. Brenda Cassellius was on hand to provide remarks and gratitude.
“School bus drivers are often the first person a student interacts with every morning, and the last person they see from school in the afternoon,” Cassellius said. “They are part of the many wonderful Minnesotans who positively impact a student’s school experience every day, and I am excited to honor our school bus drivers for all of their hard work.”
“We are so grateful for school bus drivers who realize that nothing is more important than our children’s safety,” said Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman. “School Bus Driver Appreciation Day is a great way to honor their work and show our appreciation. We can help them every time we get behind the wheel by stopping for red flashing lights or stop arms and paying attention in neighborhoods and school zones.”
“Our school bus drivers take their jobs seriously and are committed to getting kids to and from school safely,” MAPT President Derrick Agate Sr. said. “We hope that Minnesotans help us recognize school bus drivers in their communities on Feb. 22, and that more people consider this important and in-demand career.”