Bus driver wins statewide ‘Love The Bus’ awardPublished 11:10am Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Alexander City school bus driver Sandra Roberts loves her bus – and she now has been awarded statewide for it, thanks to the annual Love The Bus campaign.
The Love The Bus campaign is sponsored by bus company Transportation South annually, in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Transportation.
Transportation Supervisor Johnny Cunningham nominated Roberts, who drives a special needs bus, to represent Alexander City Schools.
“Mrs. Sandra Roberts has driven the bus for the Alexander City school system for five years and exemplifies special qualities as a bus driver,” Cunningham wrote in his nomination. “These children need a lot of love and compassion, and Mrs. Roberts shows this love and compassion to her students daily.”
In the nomination, Cunningham mentions that Roberts has provided clothing for some of her students, and when it is raining she gets off the bus with an umbrella and walks the wheelchair-bound students to the door.
Roberts said this is the first time she has been nominated for the award.
“It was an honor,” Roberts said. “It was nice to be recognized.”
Roberts and Cunningham traveled to Birmingham to an appreciation dinner Feb. 14, where Cunningham said another bus driver was honored as the statewide winner based on the state transportation department’s recommendation.
“This year the state picked a driver who helped save a child’s life after the child got run over by a car,” Cunningham said. “But (Transportation South) called us back later … and the bus company picked Mrs. Roberts (to share the title).”
Roberts said the children are her favorite part of her job.
“The kids make my day,” Roberts said. “When they smile when they get on the bus, it makes me smile.”
Roberts said her 10-year-old daughter Emily, who has Down syndrome, was her reason for beginning her job as a special needs bus driver and called working with other special needs children “a joy.”
“It’s a tough job, but it’s got its rewards,” Roberts said. “You feel like you’re making a difference in their lives. Some of them have a tough life, and anything you can do to help is a lot. I know how it was not to fit in sometimes, and I want to help them have the best childhood they can have.”
Roberts was honored at the Alexander City Board of Education meeting April 9.
“She does this all the time without any award because she’s that kind of person,” Cunningham said. “She has a lot of compassion and passion for the kids.”