Thomas Built Buses Invites Children to Nominate Their School Bus Driver for ‘Driver of the Year’

Fifth Annual Essay Contest Offers $2,500 in Prizes

High Point, N.C. – Students’ daily trips to and from school may seem routine, but their experiences inside the bus and the relationships formed there can be significant.

“A school bus driver’s primary responsibility is to get students safely to school and home again but, in a way, a bus is a classroom, a place where the driver serves as an example. As a result, drivers often become someone the children look up to, someone who is an admired mentor, a trusted guardian and a dear friend,” says Kelley Platt, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses.

In 2006, Thomas Built Buses, a leading manufacturer of school buses in North America, introduced the Children’s Choice School Bus Driver of the Year essay contest to recognize the contributions individual drivers make to children’s safety and overall well-being every year. Year after year, Thomas Built receives hundreds of heartfelt essays from children across the country who have developed very special bonds with their drivers.

Last year more than 1,000 entries were submitted by students from all 50 states and Canada, illustrating the level of care and compassion students receive from their bus drivers.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, students in kindergarten through sixth grade across North America are invited to submit 90-word essays to nominate their favorite drivers. In their own words and illustrations, students can describe just what makes their school bus drivers so special. The winning essays will be featured on the Thomas Built website when the judging is complete.

Entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2010. The grand prize winner will receive a laptop computer and a $1,000 educational savings bond for the nominating child and a $1,000 Visa® gift card for the nominated driver. All winners and runners up also will receive Thomas Built Buses jackets and Saf-T-Liner® C2 school bus lunch boxes. To enter the contest, visit for complete rules and an entry form.

Completed forms and typed or legibly printed 90-word essays should be mailed to: Children’s Choice Essay Contest, HMH, 1435 W. Morehead St., Suite 140, Charlotte, NC 28208.

There is no safer way to transport a child to school than on a school bus, according to the School Bus Information Council (SBIC). Consider the following eye-opening facts about school bus safety:

“Today’s school buses meet, and very often exceed, strict safety standards, but one of the most important safety features is the one who sits behind the wheel,” says Platt.

To nominate your driver for School Bus Driver of the year, visit for complete rules and an entry form.

Thomas Built Buses ( is the leading manufacturer of school buses in North America, with more than one-third of the market. Since the first Thomas Built bus rolled off the assembly line in 1936, the company has focused on delivering the smartest and most innovative buses in North America.

Thomas Built Buses, Inc. is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America and a leading manufacturer of class 4-8 vehicles. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company.

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