Madison County bus driver, Tom Brandon, wins national award

March 15, 2014 07:19 PM


AEA member Tom Brandon, a school bus driver and teacher at Walnut Grove Elementary in Madison County, was recently named the Neighborhood Best School Bus Driver by the Steve Harvey Show. Neighborhood Awards recognize unsung individuals and businesses who exemplify excellence in their communities. Brandon, a 32-year math and science teacher, has been a school bus driver for twelve years. Inspired after something happened on his bus that he thought was too funny not to share, he jokingly posted it on Facebook. His first entry entitled “Chapter 1” received so many comments and inquiries from readers anxiously awaiting “Chapter 2”, he posted another entry. His posts on Facebook became so popular that his wife suggested he start a blog. In a recent post, “In the eye of the beholder,” Brandon recounts the tale of two twins, who are not really twins, boarding the bus to inform him of an antique truck recently purchased by their father. The truck looked exactly like the truck Brandon himself owned so he was puzzled as to the antique designation. According to the “twins,” what made the truck antique was the fact that you had to turn handles on the door with little knobs on them to make the windows go up and down. In another post, Brandon describes the many pet stories told by students who ride his bus and the antics of each. He wrote, “They talk about their dogs, cats, hamsters, lizards, snakes, goldfish and a menagerie of other animals. They cry and tell you when they have lost their friend and excitedly tell you about the arrival of a new one.” In yet another post, Brandon details why he kills wasps with his bare hands. The post, “Not a Miracle, But Close,” he writes, “The only thing that I know that may come close to the parting of the Red Sea, is to have a wasp fly through a bus load of elementary students. I’ve had to make an emergency stop many times to dispatch a poor wasp to the great beyond. The students wonder why I will kill a wasp with my bare hands, that’s easy: Bus full of screaming, diving, jumping elementary students, or possible wasp sting. If it was a rattlesnake you would choose the snake.” According to Brandon, driving a school bus is like 70 of your kids in the back seat going to town. Nominated for the award by a friend of his wife, Brandon says he found out he was a possible winner when his principal informed him that the Steve Harvey Show called and wanted to fly him to Chicago. When accepting the award for Neighborhood Best School Bus Driver, Brandon said that he had the two best jobs in the world, “I get to drive the kids to school each day and teach them in the classroom.” To follow Brandon’s School Bus blog visit

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Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
- Nelson Mandela