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Precious Cargo: Local wins Wisconsin's Bus Driver of the Year


(WEAU) - You may remember our story on a special bus driver who’s been driving her precious cargo the past 37 years.

We followed up with her and while it was easy to see the kids adored, now Shelly is feeling the love from the whole state after winning an award for the job she loves. But it was back in February we aired the story, so let's rewind to the very beginning.

“I tell my kids I'm 27,” said Shelly Theiste.

For Shelly Theiste, driving bus route 342 is more than a job.

"My mother actually drove a bus and I was going to the university. Great part-time job when you’re in college. I get up really early hit the gym. Leave the garage around 6:45am,” said Theiste.

Then she's on the road to pick up about 50 students for Meadowview Elementary. After driving 37 years she's not thinking of retiring anytime soon.

Now that was shot and said all in February. Fast forwarding four months later, she stands now as Wisconsin's 2013 Bus Driver of the Year.

"It was quite a surprise and I felt very honored, because there are a lot of people out there that do this job every day and not a lot of recognition but we enjoy what we do and we love the kids that we work with,” said Theiste.

It turns out Student Transit entered the story after it aired, which showed Shelly's kind heart and safety on the bus.

"Then you get people like that. That runs through the stop sign,” said Theiste.

Although we never did catch that driver, kids are still being affected just with her smile.

"Being able to work with our kids every day and work with the other people here that I work with, that in itself is an honor because our kids are fantastic, the people who work here are fantastic, the student transit organization is a great place to work,” said Theiste.


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