SPRINGHILL – The bus ride to school when March Break is over will be different for some of Springhill’s elementary students.
A special part of their routine to-and-from West End Memorial or Junction Road School won’t be there to greet them anymore: bus driver Gerry White has retired.
White’s last run on Thursday was not, however, run of the mill. Students at both schools went out of their way to make sure it was one to remember, making banners and signs of their appreciation for their beloved bus driver. White’s retirement even became a source of much discussion for non-bussing students, and one class created a project, speculating why he even became a bus driver to begin with: it was his dream job; or maybe it was because he missed school and took the job when there were no teaching jobs.
More poignantly, one student wrote ”Gerry became a bus driver because he really likes us.”
And the students really like him.
“He’s really nice. I like having him as a bus driver,” Aaron Simons, who has been bussed by White for six-years said. “For Christmas, Valentine’s and Halloween he would pass out sweets.”
Pulling in for his last pick-up of students, White was greeted by children holding up their banners and artwork in his honour chalked onto the side of Junction Road Elementary School. Modestly, he exited his vehicle to thank the students and staff. Earlier he received a similar farewell at West End Memorial.
“I started in 1992, right after I got out of the service,” White explained. “This was my twenty-second year.”
He doesn’t have many plans for his retirement as of yet, but one thing that won’t change is when he gets up in the morning, he said.
“I kind of got used to getting up early,” he said.