School bus driver celebrates getting college degree after being pushed by students he drives daily

July 8th, 2020

With the state of the country right now, we all need to hear inspiring stories. Fortunately, there are plenty of them to go around. Instead of focusing on all the bad, a lot of people are now posting about people and situations that have inspired them.

An everyday bus driver

One such story involves a man named Clayton Ward. As a native of Tennessee, his family owned and operated a school bus company. But after heading to the state of Massachusetts, and with knowledge of the bus system, he became a driver for the City of Framingham.

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Unsplash/Dan Dennis Source: Unsplash/Dan Dennis

Just doing his job

Every day, Clayton would make sure that kids got to school and then back home safely. He took immense pride in his job, which he did incredibly well. But something would happen that he least expected.

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Unsplash/Denisse Leon Source: Unsplash/Denisse Leon

An inspiration

As Clayton worked, something came over him. Watching the kids get on and off the bus each day began tugging at his heart. He wanted to go back to school to earn a college degree. And they gave him the push he needed.

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MassBay Community College Source: MassBay Community College

His thoughts

This man explained, “I really enjoy working with kids, especially the high school students, and during the bus routes, we would chat about their classes. As a history buff, I would share lessons that I learned in school and we talked a lot about academics.”

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Unsplash/neONBRAND Source: Unsplash/neONBRAND

The more they spoke the more he listened

Clayton went on to say that after talking several times with the students who rode his bus, they began telling him they wished he was their teacher. In his mind, it was because he was introducing them to things in a unique way. But those words of encouragement never left his mind.

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Pexels Source: Pexels

A long-time goal

You see, Clayton had wanted to earn his college degree for quite a long time. But with helping the family business, it just never happened. Now, he saw a window of opportunity. He decided to pursue his dream.

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Pexels/Pixabay Source: Pexels/Pixabay

He enrolled

Thanks to the students who inspired him, Clayton enrolled in MassBay Community College in May of last year. Even while taking classes, he continued to work full-time as a bus driver. It didn’t take long for him to land on the Dean’s List. And ultimately, he was accepted into the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society.

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Facebook/Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society Source: Facebook/Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society

Overcoming challenges

But working full-time and attending classes wasn’t easy. As Clayton said, “I would drive my route in the morning and afternoon, take a class in between shifts, and take night classes and classes online to complete my degree requirements.”

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Unsplash/Vasily Kolada Source: Unsplash/Vasily Kolada

How did he do it?

He pointed out that he kept the students in mind. They encouraged him and so, he had to make happen. He then quoted a band teacher he had who said,

“Discipline is not doing what you are supposed to be doing when everyone is watching. Discipline is doing what you are supposed to be doing when nobody is watching.”

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Unsplash/Debby Hudson Source: Unsplash/Debby Hudson

Ahead of schedule

Usually, it takes two years to earn an Associate’s Degree. But Clayton did it in only one. He then transferred to Framingham State University to work on his bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education.

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Framingham Source Source: Framingham Source

This bus driver will be recognized for multiple achievements. Not only did he carry a 4.0 GPA, but he’ll also receive an award for Highest Honors, as well as the All-College and All-Divisional awards in both Social Sciences and Humanities for maintaining the highest GPA in the university’s Liberal Arts Program.

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Source: Framingham Source, Sunny Skyz