Love the Bus event celebrates local school bus drivers

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

PELHAM – The 11th annual “Love the Bus” event honoring the very best school bus drivers across the state was hosted Feb. 13 by Transportation South Inc.

The program was founded in 2007 by the American School Bus Council as a way to show appreciation to school bus drivers, because of how important they are and the special benefit they provide towards the community.

Transportation South, which is Alabama’s largest school bus provider, hosts the event every year that celebrates specific bus drivers that are chosen by their supervisors for special recognition. One of the bus drivers invited to the event is selected by the Alabama State Department of Education as the “Love the Bus: Driver of the Year.”

This year’s winner of the prestigious award was Michelle Hogan, lead driver for Morgan County Schools.

“There are thousands of great drivers, but we also have many drivers that have a real heart for their jobs,” said Bucky Law, president of Transportation South. “They realize that in a lot of cases, their face might be the first and last smiling face they see all day. All of these drivers are like that, or they wouldn’t be here today. We are so proud to honor Mrs. Hogan with this great honor as the 2020 Alabama ‘Love the Bus’ Driver of the Year.”

This year 20 bus drivers overall were honored, including John Rodgers from Shelby County Schools. The drivers were all given special gifts and treated to food and a special recognition ceremony.

According to Law, the program is “ celebrated around Valentine’s Day in school districts across the country as a way to raise awareness and appreciation for the hundreds of thousands of school bus drivers who safely transport more than 26 million school children to and from school each day.