Edmonds School District bus drivers share video farewell to seniors
By Erin Freeman | Lynnwood Times Staff
With the Edmonds School District closed for the rest of the school year, its transportation department came up with a unique way to say goodbye to its senior students.
March 12- the school year ended in sudden silence for students and staff, the Edmonds School District (ESD) prospectively announcing school would resume again on April 10. Now, three months later, in-person learning remains closed for the remainder of the year to continue to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
“That Thursday was eerie, kind of like when the solar eclipse happened. It just went dark,” said Bus Driver Jacqueline Patchett. “That’s how it felt dropping the kids off not knowing it would be the last time.”
Expecting to be reunited within a month, goodbyes were never issued, instead substituted with ‘see you soon’. Consequently, the district’s bus drivers, who chauffeured many of the graduating seniors for much of their lives never got the chance to say farewell or wish them luck.
With only two years behind the wheel, Patchett decided it wasn’t right and chose to change the ending of their chapter together.
“Last time I looked, we’re like the sixth biggest district in the state, and I thought we have to do something, we’ve got to do something,” explained Patchett. “It’s meaningful to me too, but there are drivers who have been here forever who will never get to see the kids again.”
Unable to still say goodbye in person, she banded together 50 of the district’s drivers to participate in a special tribute video for the class of 2020, where drivers shared encouraging words and farewell messages to the seniors. The Patchett’s production also featured aerial footage of school buses arranged to form “2020” to congratulate this year’s graduates. Devon McDaniel, the son in law of one of the drivers, recorded drone footage of the tribute.
The video ended with stills of the bus drivers delivering and working with the district’s grab-and-go meal initiative, a program that helps students access food during the coronavirus-induced school closures. Patchett explains that she and other bus drivers have been driving and delivering meals directly to the families who can’t make it to an in-person meal location.
“I’ve been getting a lot of good feedback about the video,” remarked Patchett.” [The students] absolutely loved what we did.”
Link to Video
The video can be viewed here or click the image below: