EDINBURG – The Property Casualty Alliance of Texas (PCAT) recently announced that school bus driver, Melinda Alarcon, is the 2019-2020 PCAT Bus Driver of the Year for the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District.
“I had no clue I was even on the list for anybody to nominate me,” Alarcon said. “It makes me feel really good. All these years that I’ve been here every day helping out. I’ve done most of the same route for more than 10 years.”
For approximately 20 years, Alarcon has dedicated her days to make sure students arrive at school on time and safely. She said that helping to educate students is a tradition that runs in her family.
“My dad used to be a bus driver when he was in high school. My grandpa was a shop mechanic for 25 years,” Alarcon said.
According to PCAT, the award is based on multiple driver attributes, including leadership, attitude, perseverance, student and parent relationships, and technical skills.
“We’re honored to recognize the effort, sacrifice, and great care exhibited by school bus drivers throughout the PCAT program,” said Rick Edwards, President of Edwards Risk Management, Inc. “When I consider the heartfelt praise offered by other school bus drivers, supervisors, school staff, students, and parents, it stands out in my mind that the accomplishments extend beyond competent driving.”
Edinburg CISD employs more than 200 bus drivers and bus monitors covering a 945-square mile area of Hidalgo County, which is similar in size to the state of Rhode Island.
The transportation staff is currently helping with several programs, such as providing Wi-Fi services in rural areas, delivering meals to students, distributing school supplies and technology equipment, picking up and dropping off homework assignments, and locating students who have not reported back for the 2020-2021 school year.
“My duty right now is to do the meals,” Alarcon said. “And from there, I come back to Betts Elementary School, and I help out the teachers with whatever they need to be delivered, such as books, hot spots, Chromebooks, and materials.”