SANDUSKY, Ohio (WJW) — When bus drivers for the Sandusky City Schools dropped off students at home on March 16, they did not know at the time that it would be their last run of the school year due to the COVID 19 outbreak.
However, they decided to make one more run on Thursday to pay tribute to a retiring colleague, Ed Beatty, who has earned the respect and admiration of educators and generations of Sandusky children and their parents.
“Bus drivers are critically important because often they are the first person to see the child and bus drivers get to know kids pretty well from the first day in the morning,” said Sandusky Schools CEO and Superintendent Eugene Sanders.
Ed Beatty’s fellow drivers and the school district surprised “Mr. Ed”, as he’s known, with a parade in front of his home.
Sandusky School Board President Brigitte Green-Churchwell says the message of the parade was, “we love you, we appreciate your service and your dedication to the children of Sandusky.”
In all, Ed Beatty drove a school bus for 44 years and along the way, he influenced thousands of students. Those who watched “Mr. Ed” from afar, were amazed by his quiet way of showing children how to find the right path.
“Mr. Beatty was known for sharing his wisdom, he was known for really helping to straighten out some of those unique students. He wasn’t that loud person, you know yelling at you, his demeanor really allowed them to really gain that sense of trust,” said Brigitte Green-Churchwell.
For Ed Beatty, the surprise parade was a way for him to say goodbye to his friends at work, but he has a regret about the way the school year ended so suddenly for the students on his route.
“Being off for the last two and a half months, I wasn’t able to say goodbye to them, you know, that’s what you like about the last days,” said Beatty.
As he rides off into the sunset, Ed Beatty leaves parents, teachers and his fellow bus drivers with some sage advice, “kids are still kids, basically that’s it, kids are still kids, and you just pay attention to how you treat them, I mean they respond to how you treat them.”