ALBERTON-- If Shelton Dyment ever needed a job reference, he could surely count on Ethan Shea.
“He’s a really good driver,” says Shea, a Grade 6 student at Alberton Elementary of the only regular driver he has had since starting school.
Another graduating student, Amy Lissemore adds that Dyment is “really nice and lets us have fun.”
It’s not just bus passengers who have noticed Dyment’s professionalism, though. The P.E.I. Home and School Federation recently selected Dyment and Souris Consolidated driver Johnny Deagle as its 2014 school bus drivers of the year. The award recognizes school bus drivers on Prince Edward Island for service in keeping students safe as they travel to and from school each day.
“Bus drivers are the first school employees our children see each day, and the last at the end of the day. Many children spend hours every week on the bus and the quality of that experience makes a big difference in their lives”, says Joanna Stewart, the federation’s vice-president.
In singing his bus driver’s praises, Shea noted that every June Dyment takes his busload of students to Northport and treats them to ice cream.
Along with his award, Dyment was presented with notes written by his students. After reading them, he acknowledged many of the notes mentioned the ice cream treat.
The award, Dyment said, was completely unexpected but much appreciated.
At 65 years of age and driving a bus for 13 years, he admits he was late getting going. “I wasn’t sure if I could do this,” he said of his initial reluctance to suggestions he should apply for a bus route. He’s glad he did. “This is the best job I've ever had,” he declared. He’s hoping to keep bussing students for two more years.
“It’s all about the students,” he insisted.
Shelton Dyment is a caring individual and models the utmost safety and professionalism while transporting children to and from school each day,” his citation reads, in part. “He is very quiet, kind, compassionate and takes the job very seriously. There is not a doubt in parents’ minds that their children will be provided with the utmost safe care when he is at the wheel of the bus.”
The president of the Alberton Home and School Association, Sonia Wallace, said families are fortunate to have him at the wheel. “Shelton ensures our children arrive safely to school each day. Knowing that familiar face will be there to greet our children each morning is a wonderful feeling,” she commented.
“Kindnesses do not go unnoticed, such as, encouraging my daughter to zip up her coat and put on her hat during cold weather before getting off the bus,” added another parent.
Dyment is grateful for the children he drives to and from school, noting the older children on his bus are great to help his younger passengers.