HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- On a gloomy Wednesday, it is hard to miss those bright, yellow Henrico school buses. But ironically, the man at the helm of one of those 40-foot vehicles said he often goes unnoticed.
“It would be nice to get some appreciation. Most parents are appreciative, but, some don't understand that we take care of their kids for that 20-30 min bus ride,” said Alan Boyle, a bus driver for Henrico County Public Schools.
Boyle told CBS 6 News' Lorenzo Hall that all changed when he got a letter from one of his precious passengers and contacted CBS 6 to share the story.
"This sweet little girl rides my elementary bus. When she came on the bus yesterday afternoon she presented me with a note pad and asked me to write my name down. Later when I dropped her at the bus stop, she gave me a hug and presented me with this priceless gift! She's 7," Boyle wrote.
The short note, which reads, “You are the best bus driver,” means a lot to Boyle, who said his "thankless" profession faces constant criticism for being late or holding up traffic.
“She thought enough of me as a bus driver to give me that. That makes me feel special,” Boyle said.
CBS 6 News caught up with the author of that note, 7-year-old Gisella. Her simple act of kindness is warming the hearts of many Central Virginians online.
She says her reason for writing it is simple.
“When he smiles, it makes me smile back at him,” she said.
Gisella’s mom said that she is inspired by her daughter's note, especially at a time when there's so much talk of school violence.
Boyle agrees, saying he hopes adults will take this as a lesson from Gisella. He said this is proof that it's everyone's job to make sure children are on the right track, including the bus driver.
“You never get to hear about this part of what we do. It's not just about driving a school bus. It's about interacting with the children and being part of their day as well,” said Boyle.