Letter: Local bus driver retires after 20-plus years
Bethany Aurin has been safely driving local kids to school and field trips for 20-plus years. Through her years with the Steamboat Springs School District, she dedicated herself to ensuring kids were cared for as if they were her own (and she is a damn fine wife and mother).
As a kid, my sister and I would get up early with her in the morning, go to the bus barn and board before anyone else. As such, we were witness to our mother investing herself in her students, getting to know them, often she would know family members and would advocate for any and all of them in addition to her fellow bus drivers (keeping her in hot water with administration).
Looking back, countless names of students come to mind as they made an impact on her and were added to the list of adopted members of the family. Quickly, her bus became a popular stop for all students as she had the infamous candy bucket, where she would hand out candy on Fridays or special occasions. She cared deeply for anyone who walked up the steps of her bus, always searching for ways to lend a hand or add any positivity to their life. In fact, in 2018, she tore many ligaments in her knee unloading a basketball hoop she found in a garage sale for some students, something she received grief for, but it demonstrated her huge heart.
For many years, she was the dedicated driver of the Steamboat Springs High School hockey team, continually took the infamous eighth grade science trip to Colorado State University and many other field trips. A favorite were the ranch tours elementary students would take to local ranches, often having a history with the ranching family.
The school bus is host to many memories of a child’s education, as mentioned in the Luke Bryan song, “We Rode in Trucks.” “There’s a lot about life we learn on the bus, how to lie, how to fight, how to kiss, how to cuss. The closer we sat to the back, the smarter we got.”
As a student on her bus, there are so many memories I will always cherish, including the last day of school every year where her bus would blast “School’s Out for Summer” with ice cream and, of course, water balloons to throw at teachers. Although she will no longer be driving kids to school every day, she will remain invested in bettering the lives of everyone she meets, and always have a special place in her heart for the amazing kids in RE-2.
A school bus driver is the first smiling adult a child sees in the morning and the last they see before they get home. They always brave the weather to get kids safely to where they need to be, while being a shining example as they do it.
With love and admiration,
Fritz, Aleigh and Hayleigh
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