Fair   64.0F  |  Forecast »

Lake Orion Bus Driver Dawn Lemaster Named Best Bus Driver in the Country

Nominated by a fourth-grade student (and big fan!), this creative southeast Michigan woman earned top props for 2012 in Thomas Built Buses' contest

When it comes to getting kids from point A to B, Dawn Lemaster is grade-A. But not just because she's been delivering Oakland County kids to school safely for well over a decade.

Forget basic transportation – and think along the lines of Bus Cab quiz games (a la Cash Cab), prizes from the Treasure Tower, a "Buster the Bus" safety program and even a portable library. That's right: Lake Orion Community Schools bus driver Dawn Lemaster runs a big yellow bus with more pizzazz than that magical Mrs. Frizzle. At least, that's what her students think – and it earned her the grand-prize title of Thomas Built Buses Children's Choice School Bus Driver of the Year for 2012.

Why? Because "She is the most fun, loving, caring and AWESOME bus driver I've ever had," says Charlotte Anker, age 10 – the Carpenter Elementary School fourth grader who nominated Lemaster in a 900-word essay. The veteran driver, who's been with the Lake Orion fleet for 15 years, won a $1,000 Visa gift card – and Charlotte got a $1,000 education savings bond and laptop. Both took home Thomas Built Buses jackets and lunch boxes.

Lemaster, who was honored in a local ceremony in October 2012, explains it all got started when a friend suggested she give bus driving a try.

"I'm so glad I took her advice. Every day since has been a different adventure," Lemaster says on the Thomas Built Buses website. "I'm so honored to receive this award, as it means my kids really care about me and I'm making a difference."

And how. "I think after this long, she'd be a crabby bus driver," Charlotte observed in her essay, "but she loves her job and loves us kids!" And the kids help her out, too: If Lemaster has her grandkids over for the weekend, Charlotte adds, she'll ask her busload's advice on movies and what to make for dinner – and "this makes me feel like I'm important and that we're helping her a lot."

Thomas Built Buses is the leading manufacturer of school buses in the continent. It's been holding this contest since 2006, and more than 750 students nationwide entered submissions in the 2012 challenge.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Paper Craft Fun with Handprints, Garland and Kawaii Art

Paper Craft Fun with Handprints, Garland and Kawaii Art

This versatile craft material transforms into an acorn fall creation, decorative ribbon, cute Japanese critters and cool dividers for your kid's closet.

How to Prevent Your Child from Choking

How to Prevent Your Child from Choking

Mealtime can turn from pleasant to panic in a matter of seconds. Protect your child from this mishap with our list of dos and don’ts.

YouTube Moms Parody Iggy Azalea's Hit Song 'Fancy'

YouTube Moms Parody Iggy Azalea's Hit Song 'Fancy'

The rapper's had the hit of the summer, but these clever mothers made it their own, riffing on pregnancy and motherhood in some pretty funny viral videos.

Biscuit Recipes: From Classic to Chocolate

Biscuit Recipes: From Classic to Chocolate

September is National Biscuit Month, but you can bake these any time! These recipes, including classic biscuits from Betty Crocker and cornmeal biscuits from Martha Stewart, will have you reaching...

Little One-Yard Wonders Book Review and Play Mat Project

Little One-Yard Wonders Book Review and Play Mat Project

Check out a new title that promises lots of sewing projects you can make for kids. Also, for the skilled seamstress, try one of its cool play-oriented patterns.

Talking to Kids About 9/11

Talking to Kids About 9/11

Do you remember where you were on Sept. 11, 2001 when you got news of this tragedy? Here are nine tips to calm, educate and understand it 13 years later.

Fall Crafting at Home: Tea Towels, Harry Potter Owl, More

Fall Crafting at Home: Tea Towels, Harry Potter Owl, More

Whether you're planning a kids party, want to capture autumn art in a frame or would rather keep summer going with ice pops, try these family DIY ideas.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement