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Blog Post

Honoring our School Bus Drivers this Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks to our School Bus Drivers

In just a few days we’ll be sitting at the Thanksgiving table, reconnecting with and sharing a meal with family and friends. This time together is an opportunity to reflect on the gratitude we have for each other and show thanks to the people that matter most to us. 

In this spirit, we wanted to create a moment to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary, dedicated school bus drivers who have played an instrumental role in the lives of the children who they drive to school everyday and the communities in which they serve. They are at the heart of what we do here at Zum. 

It takes a very special person to become a school bus driver. Each one of our drivers goes above and beyond: Greeting each student with a warm smile every morning. Making sure they know each student’s name (and, in many cases, family members too!) Ensuring that they take the most efficient routes to minimize student time on the bus, anticipating the needs of students with disabilities, caring for children when their families can’t be there, and, of course, always leading with safety and reliability.

To honor these incredible men and women, in San Francisco, we hosted our first inaugural award ceremony to recognize our drivers who have truly gone beyond extra mile in their work, dedication and passion to fulfill our mission of safer, sustainable, and more equitable access to school transportation. Our CEO, Ritu Narayan, in addition to school district representatives presented the awards to our honorees.


This years honorees:

The Inaugural “Paul Stein” Award, for the San Francisco driver who goes above and beyond to get kids to and from school safely, was named for school bus driver Paul Stein, who served the SF community for 50+, and retired just last year. The first ever recipient of this award is Shirley Canyon. Shirley started as a school bus driver in October of 1971. She has dedicated 5 decades to transporting students in the SFUSD. She has 3 beautiful children, whom she raised at various bus yards. Thank you, Shirley, for your incredible attitude, demeanor, and outstanding attendance!


Exceptional Community Award winners: 

  • Dale Sutton – 52 years of service
  • Shirley Canyon – 51 years of service
  • Jimai Griffin – 47 years of service
  • Gene Guzman – 44 years of service
  • Norman Gatewood – 42 years of service
  • Hugh Wesley – 42 years of service
  • John Leon-Guerroro – excellence in Mechanical Engineering

Safety Award winners: 

  • Jose Sandoval
  • Shirley Canyon
  • Melody Ortega
  • Shane Hoff


Congratulations to all and thank you for all that you do for Zum students!