Bus 219’s mutual admiration society

Strayer students surprised their bus driver with an engraved thermos filled with thank you notes.
Posted on 03/06/2020
Strayer students present bus driver Jane Buckley with an engraved thermos for being so good to them.By Gary Weckselblatt

When Strayer Middle School students get on Bus 219 sometime after 7 each weekday morning, they know it’s going to be a good ride with Jane Buckley at the wheel.

“She’s always making our day better,” seventh-grader Kavai Sieger said. “We feel safe when she’s driving.”

Kavai is not alone in her praise of Mrs. Buckley, who has been a bus driver for Levy School Bus Co. for 17 years. All Bus 219 riders recently each put their fond thoughts on paper and placed their notes in an engraved thermos as a gift to their favorite driver. It reads “Mrs. Buckley is Strayer Stronger.” One recent afternoon, Bus 219 students lined up and presented her with the trophy.

“It made me feel great, like I’m doing my job,” Mrs. Buckley said. “I’ve had these kids for a few years. They know what my expectations are, what I will tolerate and what I won’t. They’re a great bunch of kids.”

Len Pawlowski, Levy’s Terminal Manager, called the students’ kind gesture “a wonderful thing. It’s good to see the kids really appreciate her. Drivers don’t always get the recognition they deserve. We’re really proud of her.”

Strayer has a program where each bus driver is given “Strayer Stronger” tickets to write positive comments if the students act well during bus rides. Those tickets are placed in a box and administrators will pick a ticket from the box and reward students for their positive behavior. Bus 219 students recently received a pizza lunch because of Mrs. Buckley’s ticket. That’s when the students decided to do something kind for her.

Holly Kirschman, Management Assistant at Strayer, said “It’s all about being positive. They just love Mrs. Buckley. They get on her bus and know exactly what to do. When they see her, it’s another great day.”

“We’re all good to her because she’s good to us,” said Dylan Lystad, an eighth-grader. If a student on the bus begins to act up, other students handle the situation so Mrs. Buckley can drive safely, he said. “We keep each other in line and will tell them to quiet down.”

Dylan Chauhan, also an eighth-grader, said Mrs. Buckley has a one-to-one connection with students on her bus. “She creates such a positive, ‘Strayer Stronger’ bus trip,” he said. “She’s good to us by driving safely.”

Mrs. Buckley said that through the years, she’s found middle school students “are usually the most challenging. But with these kids, we have a mutual admiration society. They’re polite, have good manners and follow the bus rules. I love them.

“It’s not just me. It’s not just the school. I want to thank the parents. It’s a joint effort, and I want the parents to know how much I appreciate it.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.
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