By: Valerie Burgos

A Madison County school bus driver is redefining the boundaries of her job. From the inside to the outside of her bus, the school district says her love for children has driven her to become more involved in her students’ personal lives. She attends events such as her students’ award ceremonies, where she knows her students will feel her full support. Still, it is the little things that she does while she’s driving the bus that make her students bond with her.

“When they get on the bus, they have to pay admission. They have to smile at me,” Annette Blackmon says. “It’s a game but… it’s a way to start off the day with a smile on your face.”

Over the summer, Blackmon also volunteered inside of the classrooms, helping migrant students improve on their reading skills.

Director of Transportation for Madison County Schools, Brooks Dobbs, says the attention she gives to these children is what makes her such a strong asset for Comer Elementary School.

“[She] just really embraces them… Takes them on under her wing and makes them feel like a really good part of the community,” says Dobbs.

He also says her level of commitment to the kids is what impresses him because she works at her son’s poultry farm while the students are in school.

This December, Annette Blackmon will be celebrating her 15th year as a bus driver at Comer Elementary, and she says she looks forward to celebrating many more.

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