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Ames impacts students beyond the school bus

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LaPorte Community Schools is well known for its bubbly and bright bus drivers. One driver in particular, Mrs. Ames, is notorious among her students as someone they look forward to seeing and often regard her bus, number 53, as a safe place. She is beloved and respected for her ability to make the bus ride home fun and excitable for students. 

Ames has been a bus driver for 11 years after substitute driving for two years. She wanted a job outside of the ones she maintained at home and to keep up her custom sewing business, as well as give her the flexibility to enjoy activities in the summertime.

“I needed something that still allowed me to continue with my custom sewing business and let me have the flexibility to be able to go to horse shows and fairs in the summer. And who doesn’t want to drive a big cheese box down the road,” Ames said. 

Ames’ favorite part of her job is her students. She loves being able to interact with and have fun conversations with the kids on her bus because they remind her of the good in the world. She also loves seeing the look on people’s faces when they hear that she enjoys driving 50 kids around daily. 

“There is so much focus on the negative in society right now, and I want folks to know that we have really great young people in our community. Of course I have dealt with some bad behaviors, but I have learned to listen a little more, see a little more, and learn why that behavior comes out. Getting to know these students that I see 180 days of the year for years is a job perk. Our young people have much to show us if we let them, and when they share a bit of themselves with me, that is a little gift. I think my kiddos like me, but they also know I do not take their shenanigans,” Ames said. 

In addition to spending her days as a bus driver, Ames maintains a small farm containing animals such as cows and horses. Ames is passionate about horses and has shown them for 45 years. She is currently showing her horses at the Pinto Horse Association at a national level. 

 “Our little farm is hard work, but it teaches us about life every single day. There is hope, joy and heartbreak to deal with, but I would not trade any of it. I always tell my students they are welcome to come out and meet my critters,” Ames said. 

Though driving a school bus full of students can be taxing and exhausting at times, Ames would not trade it for anything. She loves her job and students, which helps her find happiness and joy in the little things everyday. 

 “I drive a bus full of hope and promise. Is it all puppies, butterflies and rainbows? No. But what job is? I hope my students will remember me with a smile. I haul the world’s most precious cargo, and I love doing it,” Ames said. 

LaPorte students are beyond lucky to have such a hardworking, passionate, and loving person like Ames on their side. She always has her kids’ back and provides a safe, fun, and relaxing environment on her bus. 

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