Bus drivers “think of their kids as family,” said Tim Morris, director of Transportation Department for Coffee County Schools.
Coffee County Schools bus drivers work to take care of students and provide a safe and nurturing environment for them.
“We want to recognize Mr. Ronnie Reeves,” Morris said. “He has been with the department for almost four years, and he really cares about his kids. He loves his kids and goes out of the way to make sure they get what they need. Even during the summer, when we were feeding kids during the COVID pandemic, Mr. Reeves took his personal vehicle, drove around on his bus route, and fed the kids. He would pick the free lunches for them. He is always asking about his kids and they are always asking about him. He’s like a grandpa figure, which is really cool. Mr. Reeves is great. He always interacts with the students, talks with them.”
Before joining the transportation department, Reeves served as police officer.
“And he was a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent,” Morris said. “He has worked at the Air Force Base, and I’m very proud to have him here because he cares. And that’s the way it is for all bus drivers.”
Morris expressed appreciation for all employees of the transportation department.
“The bus driver is the first person that gets the kids in the morning and the last person (after school),” Morris said. “Bus drivers are driving 60 to 80 kids on a school bus, and that’s a huge responsibility. Plus, when students become ‘their kids,’ the bus driver thinks of them as family. When they are their kids, they will fight the devil for the kids on their school bus. And that’s how Mr. Reeves is, he would fight the devil for his children.”
Sixty-four bus drivers work for Coffee County Schools, according to Morris.
The pandemic has affected school operations and added additional responsibilities for bus drivers.
“We have to take the students’ temperatures every morning,” Morris said. “We are all wearing masks, and we give masks out. It is a school board policy that we all wear masks.”
Morris encouraged students to follow the policy and protect their schoolmates and families.
“These kids don’t want their parents to get COVID,” Morris said. “If they carry it home, they can give it to their parents and grandparents.”
Morris contracted COVID himself and urges everyone to take it seriously.
“I’ve had it, I’m a survivor,” he said. “It didn’t get me really bad, but who’s to say it wouldn’t get you really bad.”