Rodgers named county’s Driver of the Year

By SASHA JOHNS / Community Columnist

John Rodgers, a bus driver for Helena Elementary and Helena Intermediate, has been named Shelby County’s Driver of the Year through Transportation South’s Love the Bus event.

Rodgers has been driving for Shelby County for nearly six years.

Rodgers has sought to build camaraderie among his fellow bus drivers in Helena by organizing competitive canned food drives between busses, an activity the children love, but he has also organized other charity events for the Helena school system.

Encouraging literacy for kids who can’t always buy books at the school book fairs, Rodgers has also found ways to encourage kids to donate money to their schools so that all of their peers can purchase at least one book.
“He’s very kind and is very good at identifying the students who need just a little extra care,” said Jan Curtis, assistant principal at Helena Intermediate. “He is their first and last smile of each child’s school day, and they love him for it.”

Rodgers has been known to go out of his way to check in on kids going through tough times, too.

He communicates with administrators about their progress and has been known to have the staff slip some kids treats anonymously when he knows they are having a bad day.
He also works with a local catering company to provide meals for families who need it, leaving the decision up to the school on who should receive them when needed.

Because he’s otherwise retired, when Rodgers is not driving, he can be found volunteering at Children’s of Alabama.

“We are so glad to have the quality of person that John Rodgers is, transporting and serving the children and families of Shelby County each day,” Transportation Supervisor Rick Vines said.