North Carolina Loves The Bus - 2017

Combining the American School Bus Council’s Love the Bus month and School Bus Driver Appreciation Week, as proclaimed by Governor Roy Cooper, schools and school districts across the state celebrated all week February 13-17.  The state’s premier event was hosted by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) where state superintendent Mark Johnson rode the bus to school and celebrated with drivers at Ridge Road Middle School.  After arriving at the school, he was joined by CMS superintendent Ann Clark, Chief Operations Officer Carol Stamper, Executive Director of Transportation Janet Thomas to recognize the work done by school bus drivers each and every day.

Mr. Johnson boarded the bus with several other middle school students on Friday, February 17th.  They chatted at the bus stop, even taking a selfie, before boarding the bus for the ride to school. He chose to sit in the back  and he shared that “as the bus got more and more full, they had no choice but to come to the back to sit with the guy in the suit” where they had good conversation about their interests and their school.

At the Appreciation Breakfast, drivers were entertained by students from the cast of the school’s production of The Lion King singing “I Just Can’t Wait to Ride the Bus.” In addition to Johnson, they heard from Clark, Thomas and DPI’s Derek Graham.  The message was consistent:  “Thank you for what you do every day.”

Pictures from the event:

CMS Drivers Pictured with State Superintendent Mark Johnson and CMS Superintendent Ann Clark.


The Selfie.

Vec Dunn (CMS) and Derek Graham (DPI) at the bus stop.

Mark Johnson on the bus.

Janet Thomas welcomes Johnson to CMS


Drivers enjoying the breakfast buffet

CMS drivers and COO Carol Stamper

Anson - We love the way you roll
Asheboro City - GuyB Teachey Elementary
Buncombe - Averys Creek Elementary
Johnston - Selma Elementary Special Display for Drivers
Scotland - Sycamore Lane Elementary
Transylvania - TC Henderson Elementary
Wilkes - Eastern Wilkes Middle

HSM Transportation Solutions, a North Carolina Company, is an annual sponsor of Love the Bus events in North Carolina. This year’s event was held in New Hanover County Schools (NHCS) where NHCS superintendent Dr. Tim Markley rode the bus to school. He was joined by school board chair Edward Higgins, DPI’s Derek Graham, NHCS transportation director Ken Nance, HSM’s David Murphy and others for a celebration of Love the Bus at Anderson Elementary School. HSM sponsored breakfast and provided T Shirts for the drivers. Everyone was entertained by students who sang for the drivers. The school also provided a photo station for drivers to use to capture their special day. Two drivers spoke to their colleagues, highlighting the important work that they all do.


Dr. Markley exits the school bus following “the quietest bus ride in the history of New Hanover County Schools.”

Markley was accompanied by DPI’s Derek Graham, a newspaper reporter and three TV cameras

The Selfie Station

David Murphy (HSM) pictured with drivers at Anderson Elementary.

T-Shirts featured the STOP FOR A LIFE logo, created by Laura Hardy, wife of Surry County transportation director Rodney Hardy.