A surprise send off for longtime school bus driver

Golden Sun Bus driver and Fulton resident Martha Becker holds a poster made for her and signed by students who ride bus 478. Becker has transported three generations of families in her career.

by Nicole Reitz

Martha Becker, a 42-year employee with Golden Sun Bus, completed her last route Thursday.

Becker, 73, has had the same route in the Fulton City School District since she started back in 1970.

As Becker pulled into the bus garage for the last time, she was greeted by fellow drivers, honking their horns. Teary eyed, she stepped off bus 478 and was welcomed into the arms of her children, grandchildren, administrators and students who were there to surprise her.

“Congratulations, you are a prize,” said board of education Vice President Rosemary Occhino.

Carson Metcalf, who just graduated from G. Ray Bodley High School, presented Becker with a bouquet of flowers, posters made by students, a framed article from The Raider, a signed farewell book and a 2012 year book.

The yearbook includes a dedication to Becker in the front of its pages.

Metcalf, a writer for GRB’s student newspaper and aspiring meteorologist, organized the surprise. Becker is his bus driver and has deeply inspired him.

“She is one of my favorite people and an incredible person,” he said. “Not often do school bus drivers get the recognition they deserve, so its nice to be able to do something for her.”

Metcalf acknowledged that at one point he aspired to be a school bus driver, simply because he wanted to inspire others, just like Becker has inspired him.

More kind words were said about Becker, including comments from her colleagues.

“She’s given everything she has to her run. She’s a sweet little old lady and she’s going to be greatly missed,” said school bus driver Debbie Alton.

School bus monitor Daryl Cobb of bus 198 echoed Alton’s remarks. “Martha is the sweetest lady you will ever meet in your life,” said Cobb. “I’m going to miss her a whole mess.”

Becker makes runs to all of the schools in the Fulton City School District and also transfers elementary students to Granby for swimming.

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