District Bus Driver Honored with State Award

Oct. 6, 2022

By Holly Brown, Redmond School District public information officer

REDMOND, Ore.- “There are so many things about Shawna that are dear to my heart,” said Michelle Rainville, transportation services supervisor. 

And I can see why. 

I met Shawna Scott, special needs bus driver, in the transportation conference room to talk about her recent award, the Buck Kemm Memorial Award. The award is given once a year to a special needs bus driver for the state of Oregon. Scott seems like the type of person who doesn’t like to be acknowledged but can’t be overlooked because of her rock-solid character and welcoming presence. 

Scott has been driving students to and from school for 15 years at the Redmond School District and she says that she still loves it. 

Maneuvering the big bus around city streets was a major concern for Scott, but her Aunt Mary was a bus driver trainer at the time who encouraged her to trust the training program. Since then, Shawna has won first place in the state bus rodeo competition, which includes driving challenges such as parallel parking the bus and backing up without hitting tennis ball obstacles.  

Another feat for some bus drivers is managing students on the bus but Scott seems to have the recipe for route success: building a relationship with the students.

“Learning kids by name, not just ‘good morning’,” said Scott. “I like to pick one or two kids per week, make small talk, share an interest in their life.” 

She also said it helps that she is pretty easy-going and lets things roll off her shoulders without taking things personally. Scott also has a bus monitor who rides on the route with her and helps with buckling in students or anyone who is having behavioral issues.

“Many times that I have ridden Shawna’s bus, she and her monitor are singing with the kids, playing their favorite songs on the radio, talking about what is going on with their day, their pets, their favorite things or whatever it is that she has learned that is important to them and makes them feel valued,” said Rainville.

The first 10 years that Scott drove for the district was with general education students. She said she had a hard route with tons of kids, the bus was really full and a friend suggested that she apply for the special education bus route. 

Scott got the route and said that the special needs children are the “joy of her life.” 

Rainville added, “She is so positive with the special needs students and makes them feel good about themselves- not different from others. It has been a blessing to have her there.”

Some perks of the job that Scott enjoys other than the joy of spending time with the children are the good people she works with, the sunrises, and the schedule. 

Scott described the transportation department as a “very tight knit, good family. It’s a good place to work and feel welcome and we have a lot of fun together.”

Anyone who is interested in becoming a bus driver for the district can learn more and apply at redmondschools.org.


Redmond School District | 145 SE Salmon Drive. | Redmond, OR | 97756 | P: 541.923.5437

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