Bus driver goes ‘the extra mile’ to boost student achievement

Vivian Ivory on her bus

Vivian Ivory on her bus

Vivian Ivory has been driving children to and from school for the past 23 years, but recently she began taking an extra step to support her students at Elmore Elementary School.

Knowing that the children would soon be receiving their progress reports, Ivory made a deal: for every “A” the students earned, they would receive a small prize, which she and the children would decide upon together. Many students selected small items such as colorful pencils or pens, but Ivory has even given out a calculator or two.

“I usually give them candy to reward them when they have a good week, but this time I wanted to try to inspire them,” explained Ivory. “The children had been feeling a little depressed, so I wanted to do something new to help them be more productive. With this particular group, I see a lot of elderly people when I pick them up and drop them off, so I know the majority are being raised by their grandparents. They need a little bit more support.”

Principal Maggie Gardea says that Ivory’s efforts are paying off in the classroom, too.

“We have seen some changes in our students, especially in regard to behavior,” she said. “It is obvious that our students love and respect Ms. Ivory. It is very heartwarming to know that someone who spends 15 to 20 minutes a day with them would take the time to stress the importance of education and then spend money out of her own pocket to treat the students.”

Ivory has given out 60 prizes so far, and she has no plans to stop. “When I do a good job, I get a bonus,” she said. “And a promise is a promise.”

9 thoughts on “Bus driver goes ‘the extra mile’ to boost student achievement

  1. Sherell Jackson

    Thank you sooo much for what you are doing. I am so happy that the children have something to look forward to because they work hard.

  2. Ronda Harrison

    How awesome!!! I love stories such as this. We must motivate our scholars in and out of the classroom. She saw a way she could help motivate the scholars and took the initiative to JUST DO IT! Way to go Ms. Ivory! Thank you for your service and concern for the children in HISD.

  3. Patricia Naputi

    Thank you, as a teacher we need all the positive help we can get. Again, thank you Ms. Ivory. 😉


      What an outstanding example of connecting with the students so that positive reinforcements transcends from the bus to the classroom. Good example of modeling expectations.

  4. Angela Gaddis

    What a beautiful and mindful gesture!!! We must understand that we all play an important role in a child’s life and Ms. Ivory understands this idea! We as stakeholders should always look for innovative ways to motivate our children! Thank you Ms. Ivory!!! (Former Bus Driver…Present Educator)


    Simply marvelous, that’s what she is. We need more people like her. May you be blessed everywhere you go. Amazing lady.

  6. Deturice Dunbar

    Congratulations Viv, as we call you at the motor pool, Vivian Ivory is always giving of herself and even her money in respect to feeding and helping others….way to go for being a BLESSING……

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