Special Needs Transportation

NAPT Keynote Speaker: Stacey Bess on Working With Homeless Students

Thomas McMahon
Posted on November 10, 2017
Stacey Bess says that pupil transportation professionals are in a good position to have a positive impact on homeless students who ride their buses.
Stacey Bess says that pupil transportation professionals are in a good position to have a positive impact on homeless students who ride their buses.

At 23, Stacey Bess landed a teaching job that seemed daunting at first: teaching children in a homeless shelter in Salt Lake City.

“I wasn’t sure I wanted this opportunity,” Bess told School Bus Fleet in an interview. “I was really quite freaking out about it.”

Her initial task was to teach the whole gamut of grades, from kindergarten through high school, with an average of about 26 students at a time. She soon developed a fascination for homeless education, which she found was as much about educating the parents as it was the children.

“Really it was the most enjoyable job in the whole world, because I had mom[s] and dad[s] right on site with me,” Bess said.

She also motivated the students to go beyond their current situation and pursue success. A key part of that was convincing them that they could.

“[Later in life], they actually say to me, ‘It worked. You told us over and over again how great we are, and we believed you,’” she said. “These are kids who have risen above the last generation.”

Bess noted that pupil transportation professionals are also in a good position to have a positive impact on homeless students who ride their buses. She gave an example of a school bus driver who kept a box of granola bars under her seat. If she found out that one of her passengers hadn’t had breakfast, she would slip him or her a granola bar.

Even just a smile and a warm greeting can go a long way to encourage homeless students, Bess added.

“People don’t realize how important those words are to kids,” she said. “You might be the first person to talk to them that morning.”

Related Topics: conferences, homeless students, NAPT

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Greenville County (S.C.) Schools aide Linda (shown left) and bus driver Carlos spotted a boy who had gone missing the night before and brought him to safety. Photo courtesy Greenville County Schools
News

School Bus Driver, Aide Locate Missing Boy

Bus driver Carlos and aide Linda of South Carolina are driving on their morning route when they spot a boy who had gone missing the night before. They convince him to board the bus and take him to safety.

NHTSA has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on a requirement for a seat belt use warning system for rear seats. File photo
News

NHTSA Seeks Comment on Seat Belt Use Warning System in Rear Seats

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on a requirement for a seat belt use warning system for rear seats. In particular, the agency seeks comment on a requirement for high-occupancy vehicles, including 15-passenger vans and school buses.

School Bus Fleet ConneX (SBFX) will convene in Scottsdale, Ariz., from April 22 to 24, 2020. Shown here is a roundtable discussion at the inaugural edition of SBFX, which was held in Miami, Fla., in April 2019.
News

School Bus Fleet ConneX to Return in 2020

Next year’s event will bring school bus operators and suppliers to Scottsdale, Ariz., for roundtable discussions, one-on-one meetings, and other networking activities.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!