A Comforting Conductor
Bus driver reflects on reason for obtaining job, Love the Bus movement
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Love the Bus month, coming up in February, is a time to honor and thank bus drivers. However, for junior Leora Lucas, it is a time to thank an important mentor.
CHS bus driver Brad Osborne has driven Lucas’ bus for two years. Over that time, Lucas said Osborne has gone above and beyond to connect with the kids on his bus.
Lucas said Osborne and his wife, an event planner for the city of Carmel, have allowed several students from his bus to help with local events such as Holiday on the Square.
Lucas said, “I definitely think (Osborne) opened up more opportunities because I’ve gotten into events planning; that’s something I’ve definitely considered (as a possible career). Also, I’ve been able to volunteer and help out the city more. It’s really gotten me to be more comfortable with who I am.”
Osborne said he considers himself a mentor for the kids on his bus.
“I am lucky to have had good mentors over my life that have shared insight with me that has led to a lot of successes. One of the things that’s interesting about those folks that shared with me, and me as I share with others, is it’s from the heart,” Osborne said. “I’m willing to be a servant leader with others and help the kids on my bus. Anybody that would need my help with anything can come to me. I want it to be a safe place where people can excel.”
Lucas said, “He makes the bus ride entertaining for all of us. It’s more than just driving a bus for him; it’s providing a ride to school for students, but making it fun at the same time. He makes me want to go to school and actually be there.”
Director of transportation Amy Beaven said CCS bus drivers have important, fulfilling jobs.
Beaven said, “The flipside of this is becoming a bus driver gives you a very strong purpose in that you are keeping the young kids in our community safe on their ride to school. You’re giving them a ride to school, which is important so that they get there timely; they don’t have to rely on alternate transportation.”
Osborne said he agrees.
“That’s the mentality of most of the people that are school bus drivers. It’s not just a job, it’s a way for care to have an impact on the next generation,” he said.
Osborne said he was pleasantly surprised by the appreciation expressed by students and staff during Bus Driver Appreciation Week, a time to appreciate bus drivers similarly to Love the Bus Month, in October.
“It was a total surprise that, one, (Bus Driver Appreciation Week) existed, and two, the wonderful ways that the families expressed their appreciation. I never ever would have expected that,” Osborne said. “I know I’ve got great relationships with my people, and I’m able to see that the other drivers are really appreciated as well. It’s terrific.”