North Sanpete bus driver named top in the state
By Daniela Vazquez
Education coordinator and staff writer
- MT. PLEASANT—Over 500 people gathered in Salt Lake City for the annual Utah Safety Council award ceremony where a North Sanpete School District bus driver was recognized for her outstanding achievement.
On Aug. 19, Connie Lamb of Wales was awarded the 2016 Utah Safety Council Professional School Bus driver award.
North Sanpete School District Superintendent Dr. Sam Ray was in attendance, along with four of Lamb’s daughters.
“It was really nice,” Ray said. “She’s done a lot of work for a long time. She quietly goes about taking care of kids and it’s really nice to have her be recognized for all she’s done.”
Lamb got her start 32 year ago, when she was a young mother. Lamb says, a neighbor asked her to apply for a substitute driving position and, a week after applying, she got the job.
The most important aspect of her job, Lamb says, is ensuring students get to and from school safely, the reason she garnered the award.
Lamb has implemented rules for students riding her bus, and says the most important rule is, “respect for others and respect for your actions.”
“There are a lot of things going on in these kids’ lives, and sometimes that ends up on the school busses. I try to keep everyone in a safe environment.”
Rewards are also part of her daily safety routine, says Lamb, who has been known to bring Oreos for students that consistently exhibit good behavior on the bus.
When driving as many years as Lamb has, dangers are bound to be present, and she recounted an incident that made statewide news.
In the winter of 2008, she was behind the wheel taking the last of her students home, she told the Messenger. While traveling south in whiteout conditions on West Side Road between Fountain. Green and Jerusalem, she said she knew she was in trouble because there was no way to turn the bus around on the icy roads.
“I saw the UPS man going down that road and I just thought I’d follow him,” she said. “I couldn’t see a thing on the road, but I saw the UPS guy turn around; but there is no way you can turn a bus around on that road.”
The bus had slid off the road, and Lamb used her skills and instinct to save the bus from, what could have been a serious accident. She called bus garage supervisor Dallon Sagers for help, and said she expected a crew to come with big trucks and equipment to pull her out of the snow.
“Dallon and the crew arrived with buckets of sand and shovels,” she said with laughter in her voice, “but inch by inch we got the bus out of the snow and back on the road. It was a MacGyver sort of thing.”
And with dangers also come highlights.
Lamb says she has transported thousands of students throughout her career and the best moments are getting to know students, watching them grow and remembering her into their adulthood.
Another perk is working with a supportive garage staff who, Lamb said, she couldn’t have gotten where she is today without them.
“I’m driving this $100,000 vehicle and, if something ever goes wrong, I just call Dallon [Sagers] on the CB radio,” she said. “He’s like a Rescue Ranger—here he comes and you’re good to go again.”
Lamb said she loves to drive and loves seeing the kids everywhere she goes and the experience “has been an absolute blast!”