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2006 Essay Contest Winners

90th Anniversary

There are many people who make the wheels on the bus go round and round, but school bus drivers are the heroes who get children safely to and from school. In 2006, as part of Thomas Built Buses' 90th anniversary celebration, children across America were invited to nominate their favorite driver by submitting a 90-word essay about what makes their driver so special.

WINNER

DRIVER - Elaine Brogan; CHILD - Erica Gagliardi

Winning entryDownload entry
  • Number of Years Driving a School Bus - 17
  • Type of Bus - 2003 Thomas Built
  • School District - Branchburg Township Board of Education - Branchburg, NJ
  • Favorite thing about being a school bus driver - "...seeing the smiling faces of the younger children as I open the door in the morning and the stories they share with me."

See the full story (1.76MB PDF)

Grand Prize Winner, Elaine BroganGrand Prize Winner, Elaine Brogan

RUNNERS UP

DRIVER - Kurt Anfinson
CHILD - Micole Lansing

entryDownload entry
  • Number of Years Driving a School Bus - 19
  • Type of Bus - Thomas Built
  • School District - South Winneshiek - Ossian, IA
  • Favorite thing about being a school bus driver - "The children. I have a great bunch of kids."
Kurt AnfinsonKurt Anfinson

DRIVER - Bill Henson
CHILD - Tyler MacDonald

entryDownload entry
  • Number of Years Driving a School Bus - 6
  • Type of Bus - 2005 International 77 passenger
  • School District - West Ottawa Schools - Holland, MI
  • Favorite thing about being a school bus driver - "interacting with the students."
Bill HensonBill Henson

DRIVER - Leetta Vinson
CHILD - William Burnett

entryDownload entry
  • Number of Years Driving a School Bus - 32
  • Type of Bus - TC 1000 Bluebird
  • School District - Greater Albany Public Schools - Albany, OR
  • Favorite thing about being a school bus driver - "I enjoy the kids and summers off. It works well with raising a family."
Leetta VinsonLeetta Vinson

DRIVER - Hazel Sleeter
CHILD - Emily Antrilli

entryDownload entry
  • Number of Years Driving a School Bus - 20
  • Type of Bus - 54 Passenger
  • School District - Gloucester Township - Blackwood, NJ
  • Favorite thing about being a school bus driver - "I love being with the children."

HONORABLE MENTION *

DRIVER - Lisa Oliphant
CHILD - Katie Gibson

entryDownload entry
  • Number of Years Driving a School Bus - 3
  • Type of Bus - A regular 22-seat Freightliner school bus
  • School District - Iredell - Statesville County - Mooresville, NC
  • Favorite thing about being a school bus driver - "When a child is getting off the bus, gives you a hug and tells you that they will see you tomorrow or have a good day."
Lisa OliphantLisa Oliphant

* To qualify, drivers were required to have a minimum of 5 years of experience, however we felt this entry deserved an honorable mention.