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Bus Driver of the Year from East Elementary

posted Jun 7, 2017, 11:19 AM by Greg Shull
Jenny Hardee of East Elementary was named the 2017 Bus Driver of the Year for Cleveland County Schools at the annual bus driver banquet held at Shelby Middle. This annual award is named after Donald K. Byrnes, a retired CCS school transportation director, and current bus driver advocate.

Mrs. Hardee joins an elite group of drivers who drive students to and from school safely every day. Rising to the occasion, Hardee is the first school bus driver – since the initial awarding of this esteemed honor in Cleveland County – to obtain a perfect score on the examination portion of the completion.

“I am extremely proud of Mrs. Hardee for doing so well in this year’s competition,” said David Pless, transportation director at Cleveland County Schools. “She is a fantastic bus driver, and we are so very fortunate to have her on our team.”

“She [Jenny] is obviously very confident and loves working with the kids,” said Jodi Morgan of J. Morgan Co. “She has been at the same school her entire career and loves it and wouldn’t want to change – ‘wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.’”

This year’s two runners-up were Linda Bradshaw of Kings Mountain High and Mark Eskridge of Graham Elementary.

“Linda Bradshaw started as a student bus driver and has been around for lots of changes,” said Byrnes. “She is like a lot of our folks in the respect that she enjoys what she is doing and wants to continue doing it. She is very devoted not only to the job but to this particular this county.”

“Everybody knows Mark, said Phillip Glover, chairman of the Cleveland County Board of Education. “He has a passion and love for the students in Cleveland County Schools. He is just an outstanding person.” The Bus Driver of the Year program involved a panel interview, a pre-trip inspection demonstration, and a road test. This annual award is given to drivers who follow in the dedicated footsteps of Mr. Byrnes throughout his long and successful career in school transportation. Sponsors are J. Morgan Co. and Royster Oil Co.