Local man named “Bus Driver of the Year”

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A local bus driver has been recognized for his service.

Ron Harris, who drives for Sharp Bus Lines in Amherstburg, was one of two recipients of the “Bus Driver of the Year” award that was presented by Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services. The other winner was Christine Neveu of Essex, who name was also put forward by Sharp Bus Lines.

“I was not expecting it,” said Harris. “I was totally shocked.”

Amherstburg resident Ron Harris is one of the co-winners of the "Bus Driver of the Year" award presented by Windsor-Essex Transportation Services. Harris has routes for both Anderdon Public School and General Amherst High School.

Amherstburg resident Ron Harris is one of the co-winners of the “Bus Driver of the Year” award presented by Windsor-Essex Transportation Services. Harris has routes for both Anderdon Public School and General Amherst High School.

One of the initiatives that made Harris a “Bus Driver of the Year” recipient this year was how he dealt with a group of students that were causing a disturbance on his bus. Harris said he observed the students’ actions for a week, then approached them. After confirming they had Internet, Harris instructed them to visit the website www.buskids.ca and had the students and their parents sign off on the list of bus safety rules. He also moved the students from the back of the bus to the middle of the bus.

After that, the students were going to be reported should they misbehave.

It was an initiative that was not only successful, but one that was supported by both the parents and the principal.

“After that, everyone calmed down,” said Harris, who has six years of bus driving experience. “Kids love structure. If you don’t give them that structure, they are all over the place.”

Rules are needed to be enforced, he said, noting it is more important to keep his eyes on the road rather than looking in a mirror to see what the students are up to.

Harris has five children, three of them grown and two currently attending General Amherst High School. In between bus runs, Harris also monitors the cafeteria at General Amherst during lunchtime to ensure things run smoothly.

“I monitor the lunchroom to make sure people are doing what they are supposed to be doing,” said Harris. He set rules including no hats or backpacks.

Harris drives for both Anderdon Public School and General Amherst and has seen many students grow up.

“They know who I am. It’s great,” he said.

Sharp Bus Lines manager Crystal Williamson praised the work of Harris.

“He’s just a good driver,” said Williamson. “He’s always there. He’s always on time.”

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