REED CITY, Mich. — School bus driver Thomas “TJ” Updike will be recognized at a school board meeting here on Monday for his contributions to a student activity program.
Updike drives for Michigan Educational Transportation Services (METS), which has provided pupil transportation programs for Reed City Area Public Schools since 2011.
Updike has also been volunteering in a “Friday Adventures” program, which takes middle school students on activities, such as canoeing and hiking trips, that they otherwise wouldn't have access to. The program also teaches leadership and mentorship skills.
Chad Brown, vice president of sales and marketing for METS, said that Updike’s work with Friday Adventures has given him “an opportunity to apply his positive attitude and give back to the community that he serves.”
Updike’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by school leaders. Dean McGuire, principal of Reed City Middle School, recently informed the district’s board and Superintendent Tim Webster about Updike’s volunteering for the Friday Adventures program.
On Oct. 25, Webster sent a letter to Updike notifying him that he would be honored as the district’s “monthly positive highlight” for November. The recognition will take place at the Reed City Area Public Schools board meeting on Monday night.
“We look forward to this opportunity to recognize you before the board and community,” Webster said in his letter to Updike.
In addition to his driving for METS and volunteering for the Friday Adventures program, Updike is a member of the local police department and fire rescue team.