The following letter was written about GCS bus driver Mark Vetter (who is retiring) and sent to his direct supervisor. Mr. Vetter received many notes from children on his bus route, and this letter which explains how much his attention and care for a student really made a difference. (Some identifying information has been changed/hidden.)
Mark Vetter, GCS bus driver
“I meant to email earlier but the end of school and all of the “happenings” got the best of me and I forgot until this morning. I almost put off emailing because it felt too late, but then thought better of it. It’s never too late to share the good things happening, as I know you most likely have to deal with the problems more frequently.
Mark Vetter (Bus 24) has been such a blessing to our family over the past two years. Our daughter is a student at Parkside and absolutely adores him. She attended Kindergarten at the College Kindergarten and did not need to ride the bus that year. She deals with some anxiety, so the kindergarten teacher contacted your department at the end of her kindergarten year to arrange a meet-up and trial run prior to her first day of school. We were impressed that a school would even be willing to do this. This meet-up made the first day SO much easier.
The first time that I met Mark, I knew that we were so incredibly lucky to have him as our bus driver. His calm spirit, happy smile, and the peaceful presence that he carries was EXACTLY what our daughter needed. My hopes prior to meeting him were only that we would not have a bus driver who yelled a lot. Instead, we got someone who was SO MUCH MORE.
Our daughter’s first grade year was a difficult one, but Mark was the constant in that stormy and unpredictable year. There were a couple mornings that we had to wave him on due to things not going well, but I literally believe that HE was what got our daughter to school the rest of the time. She wanted to see HIM. Without that, I’m pretty sure we would have had many more struggles.
Mark shows the kids that he cares. There were many afternoons that I would have to wait a bit once the bus arrived at our house for my daughter to get off. She was talking to him. Telling him who knows what, but it meant so much to her.
This morning our entire family wanted to come outside to see “Mr. Mark” one last time. My boys, who unfortunately will never get to have him as their bus driver, loved him just as much. We are happy for Mark as he transitions into retirement, but we are feeling the loss already. Our daughter cried for hours after finding out he was not returning next year. This morning, she felt somewhat sick to her stomach because this is the last time that she will see him.
There is so much to share about him but I write all of this to share what a positive impact a seemingly small role in a child’s daily school life can be. Please encourage your bus drivers that they are SO important in these children’s lives. They are the first and last person students see in that transition between home and school.
Thank you for all you do on the administrative side of things. I know it can be a stressful job and I appreciate all of your hard work.”
A Parkside Parent
Thank you to this Parkside parent, for taking the time to acknowledge the service of one of our bus drivers!
GCS would also like to offer a huge THANK YOU to Mr. Vetter and all of the GCS bus drivers. We know that our bus drivers are the first and last people that many of our students see each school day, and we know that the interest and encouraging words of our drivers can make such a difference for so many students. Bus drivers, we appreciate you!
GCS is currently looking for additional bus drivers for the next school year. If you are interested in being a bus driver and joining GCS, where we value relationships and we make student-focused decisions, please apply online at http://www.goshenschools.org/hr/employment-opportunities.