'You can set your watch by her'

There is one thing Lucy Saxon knows for sure about bus driver Sheila Ussery. "Parents say you can set your watch by her," she said. "She never turns down extra runs, is always full of true kindness and always has a smile for everyone."

Ussery started driving for CMS 20 years ago and now transports more than 35 special-needs students from the Metro School area. "I love it," she said. "We are special drivers in this area."

Her own son attended Metro School and Ussery takes her driving responsibilities very seriously. "There is no one more important than your kid," she said. "And the person that's taking care of your kid needs to show compassion and patience. I never forget that. I treat each of these children like they're my own."

Ussery's kind personality and patience are matched by her dedication to safety. "I have to be patient not only with the kids, but with traffic," she said. "I've never had an accident. Parents know, when I am picking their children up, my first priority is to get them to and from school safely."

Many of her passengers are in wheelchairs and she often deals with emergencies such as seizures or sick students. She maintains close relationships with all of the students and their parents. "I had one student who missed some school and I started texting his mom to make sure he was OK," she said.

Ussery credits her colleagues, particularly Saxon, for helping her succeed. "She is always open and willing to help out. It makes my job easier because we are like a family here."

Loving her job makes it easy to Ussery for come to work every day. "I love my relationships with the children. I miss them over the summer. To do this job as long as I have, you must love it."