“More than anything, I miss the kids.” John Chaffeur, who has been driving school buses for a decade, drove the same Prescott Valley to Prescott route for seven years. Watching the kids grow up is his favorite part of the role.

Chaffeur loves to help students start their day right, with a smile. “If you can pick them up and then drop them off on a good note, that can go a long way in brightening their day.” He knows that students were disappointed at how the year ended, especially older students and those who were involved in athletics.

During COVID-19 closures, some bus drivers have been enlisted to continue their routes to deliver meals and paper homework packets. This link to school has proven invaluable for thousands of families all over Arizona who might not otherwise have access.

In this unprecedented time, Chaffeur would encourage parents to keep trying. “Kids can be exasperating, but this pandemic has been as trying for them as it is for you. Continue to encourage them, find ways for them to learn, and be patient with teachers as they adapt to our situation.”

All over the state, bus drivers, librarians and other staff members continue to pitch in to ensure schools can provide the services that are most needed.