I have never in my life loved going to work, until I started doing this.
Hailing from a family of bus drivers, Heather Sumner is a Colchester native who treates the students on Bus #5 like they are her own - and actually, one of the is her own. Her son Caleb attends Malletts Bay Elementary School and on any given day you'll find him sitting in the row right behind his Mom. They are like two peas in a big yellow pod.
It was her relationship with Caleb that sparked a career as a school bus driver. "I wanted to have the same schedule as Caleb. I didn't want to worry about finding daycare or what I would do when there's a snow day" explains Heather. "It's the perfect job for single moms or stay at home parents."
During the summer when her regular school route isn’t running, she drives for camps and various summer school programs. She turns these day trips into something she and Caleb look forward to by packing a picnic in a cooler and using the time in between runs to spend some quality time together, wherever they happen to be.
When the pandemic hit and our schools closed, she and Caleb continued to show up every day - loading their bus with food instead of kids. She was desperate to see her students and found joy in touching base with families and offering a warm meal to those who might be hungry.
Ask anyone in town, Ms. Heather has a heart of gold. As she tosses treats to the dogs along her route (many of which she knows by name), she offers lessons of kindness and understanding to her students. “𝐈 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐚 𝐥𝐨𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐤𝐢𝐝𝐬 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐫 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐞𝐝,” she says. Every day, rain or shine, Ms. Heather swings open the bus door to welcome them aboard, and in the process provides love and support through the attention she gives each and every one of her kids.
Want to drive for Colchester and make a difference? Here’s some information about what to expect if you choose to work for STA/Mountain Transit:
For more information and questions, call Mountain Transit at 893-1334 or apply at: https://tinyurl.com/y38a5pyy. Come drive for Colchester Schools!