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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Corporation driver honored

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chester Stevenson (right) is presented one of four 2010 Bus Driver of the Year awards presented to area bus drivers by HI-99 recently. He is pictured with HI-99 representative Frank Rush (left) and North Clay Middle School sixth-grader Madison Trusty, who nominated him.
The awards have been handed out by WTHI-FM HI-99 for approximately 10 years.

But until this year, the radio station had never had back-to-back winners from the same county.

Recently, the country music radio station awarded Clay Community School Corporation bus driver Chester Stevenson with its Bus Driver of the Year award.

According to station operations manager Barry Kent, this is the first year the award has been given consecutively.

"We hope to make it yearly from now on," Kent said.

Stevenson is the second driver from Clay County to be honored with the award. Last year, Nellie McFarland was awarded.

Stevenson, who will turn 61 in July, has driven a school bus for CCSC since 1974. He took over the route his father drove.

"I drove two years around Center Point," Stevenson said. "But then I transferred closer to home.

"I've basically had the same route for the last 34 years. I'm hauling kids of kids that I hauled when I started out."

Stevenson said he was "surprised" to learn he had received the award.

"I didn't know I had been (nominated)," he said.

In order to receive the award, drivers have to be nominated by students.

"The award is not by popular vote," Kent said. "We asked the kids to go online (www.hi99.com) and tell why their bus driver deserved to be named 'Bus Driver of the Year.'

"The HI-99 DJ's took all the entries and narrowed it down to the top four."

North Clay Middle School sixth-grader Madison Trusty nominated Stevenson for the award.

Despite winning the award, Stevenson said the bus drivers in Clay County are all deserving.

"We've got some good bus drivers in the county," he said. "I think there's plenty more that deserve it. They've driven several years."

This year, the radio station submitted four awards. Other winners included Vigo County School Corporation driver Mike Huey, Southeast Fountain School Corporation driver Kama Clouse, and Unit 2 Robinson driver Reva Reynolds.

"We decided to expand it and give four awards because it is very hard to pick just one from all the entries," Kent said.

Sponsors of the awards include Home Care Advantage, Joe's Mechanical Heating and Cooling and the Masters of Education program at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Stevenson received a plaque and a gift certificate from Rick's Smokehouse in Terre Haute.

Stevenson said he doesn't plan on retiring any time soon.

"I'm going to try to stick with it a little longer," he said. "I like to eat too well to quit."

How he won

The following is an e-mail that North Clay Middle School student Madison Trusty sent to HI-99 on behalf of her bus driver Chester Stevenson:

*My bus driver should win because he has been a bus driver for a really long time! He was my mom's bus driver over 25 years ago! He keeps the bus really clean and makes me feel safe every time I step on the bus. He is a really big guy, but ALWAYS friendly. Mr. Stevenson is very patient and waits for little kids to get on the bus and find a seat. He watches in his mirrors to make sure that everyone is doing what they are supposed to do and not fighting or being mean. My favorite thing about Mr. Stevenson is that he gives us huge candy bars every Christmas! Mr. Stevenson has been my bus driver since I started school and I hope he is my bus driver until I am able to drive myself to school. He is very dedicated to his job and making sure we all arrive safely. Mr. Stevenson hardly ever misses a day unless it's an emergency. A year or so ago, his daughter passed away and I think he only missed two days. He is a terrific guy and I hope he is still driving when my little brother goes to school! Please give Mr. Stevenson this award, he really deserves it!

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Congratulations Mr. Stevenson!!! You mean so much to so many children. A great example of what impact people in education, regardless of position, can have on children. Our bus drivers have an extremely challenging job and do it without problems. A testament to their professionalism and caring about the kids of our community. Again to Mr. Stevenson, Mr. Misner, and the rest of our transportation staff, congratulations.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Thu, Apr 29, 2010, at 9:18 PM

I remember Chester driving a "cattle truck" at Fort Knox, we passed him going the other way.

-- Posted by smallguysmalltown on Thu, Apr 29, 2010, at 10:01 PM

He was my bus driver back in the day-Mr. Stevenson is a fantastic man and truly deserved this award. Congratulations Mr. Stevenson! I do hope you will still be driving the bus when my child is in school! :)

-- Posted by millertime on Fri, Apr 30, 2010, at 7:42 AM

Congratulations to Chester! I went to school with him, and really glad to see that this nice man received this award!!!! And that's awesome that Madison nominated him. Once again, Congratulations to a well deserving gentleman.

-- Posted by JaniLou on Fri, Apr 30, 2010, at 8:57 AM

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