Boardman 8th grader honors bus drivers with personal cards

Boardman News

Every card had photos of each driver's bus and a personal message

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – An eighth grader from Glenwood Junior High found a creative way to honor bus drivers in the district Monday morning.

Celebrating Ohio’s School Bus Driver Appreciation Day, Gregory Carbon made about 60 personalized picture collage cards for bus drivers and the transportation director at Boardman Local Schools.

Every card had photos of each driver’s bus and a personal message.

“Like ‘enjoy your new bus’ or like, I enjoy riding with them over to the high school or like if I had old drivers I put something on there that’s like ‘I miss you,'” Carbon said.

More than 60 cards were ready as a surprise for Boardman bus drivers Monday at 6 AM. You can read some of the messages, like “you always bring a smile to my face!”
Courtesy of Boardman Local Schools

Carbon put each one on their bus seat so they’d get it on Monday, School Bus Driver Appreciation Day.

“Gregory reminds me so much of myself at that age. He loves school buses and he is always offering to help our drivers,” said Transportation Director Ryan Dunn. “Gregory jokes with me that someday, he wants to have my job.”

The bus drivers said Carbon knows just about each and every one of them personally.

“I had Gregory on my bus last year,” said driver Kelli Leshinsky. “He would somehow be the first out to the bus at the end of the school day, and he would always offer to help me sweep my bus or do some cleaning. He’s such a respectful young man.”

“It really was nice Monday morning, having that card there before I started my route,” said driver Krissy Manis. “It really does make you feel special.”

Carbon said he has always had a love for buses and the people behind the wheel. It started in elementary school with a bus driver who inspired him.

“Since I walked on in elementary, I guess I had a love for them, and it’s still continuing to this day,” he said.

“He is so in to every bus. He knows the engine parts, he knows way more than myself or probably the majority of other bus drivers. So I think he is a pretty awesome kid,” said driver Lisa Modarelli-Johnston.

The school bus drivers we talked to say this small gesture of thanks made a big impact.

“It just made you feel special, made you feel important. Made me feel important to the kids and what we do each and every day,” said driver Bruce Daniels.

“It’s just great to see students in our district, you know, going extra above and beyond for our employees. It’s just awesome to see that,” Dunn said.

“It was made by Gregory, our little man we all adore. Then, I came to find out, too, Gregory paid for this out of his own pocket,” Modarelli-Johnston said.

Those who know Carbon said his passion and motivation are great to see at such a young age and know he will do great things in the future.

“He knows so much about the buses. His desire is to be a bus driver and possibly a bus supervisor one day and I don’t doubt by any means that he’ll definitely obtain that,” Daniels said.

Carbon said he came up with the idea on his own and it took him hours to make the cards.

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