It started with a simple wave between Frank Zecchini and Lisa McGlaughlin.
“My bus route cuts through Frank’s neighborhood every day,” said McGlaughlin, who has been a driver for Centerville City Schools for three years. “He would sit on his porch with his coffee, and one day he waved to me and I waved back.”
According to McGlaughlin, the two shared a friendly wave for a couple of weeks, and then a boy in the first seat on the bus noticed.
“He decided he wanted to wave so the next day he waved with me, and it just caught on,” McGlaughlin said.
Now, the 35 second through fifth graders who ride the bus all enjoy waving to Zecchini each morning. McGlaughlin stops the bus briefly, flips on the interior lights, and the students all stand up and wave.
Around Halloween, one of the students suggested they buy a holiday treat for Zecchini. Most of the students brought in quarters, and McGlaughlin purchased a pumpkin and some cupcakes for Zecchini to share with his grandchildren.
“It’s been so fun to see this, and for the kids to want to give him something just made me think “Wow!” said McGlaughlin, who received permission from the Centerville Schools Transportation Department to allow Zecchini to come up to the bus doors and receive his gift. “He was so excited!”
A couple of days later, Zecchini flagged the bus down and let McGlaughlin know he’d like to do something special for the students this Christmas. On the last day of school before break, he received permission from Sherley Kurtz, the principal at Cline, to meet the bus when it arrived at the school and handed each student a goodie bag filled with fruit and candy.
“Seeing them drive by with all the kids waving just starts my day off great,” Zecchini said, adding that handing out the goodie bags reminded him of his childhood when he would help his grandfather fix up treat bags for other children.
Centerville City Schools serve more than 8,100 students in Centerville and Washington Township in southwest Ohio, offering a variety of educational programs to a diverse student population. The district operates 13 school buildings, as well as two preschools and a bus facility accommodating and servicing more than 100 buses. Visit www.centerville.k12.oh.us for more information.
|Frank Zecchini passes out holiday goodie bags to students from Bus 68 at Cline Elementary on Dec. 16.|