‘These Are My Bus Babies’: Shacario Bradley’s Love for Kids Becomes Her Guiding Force for Putting Students First

Her passengers call her “Ms. Que,” and that’s just fine with Shacario “Que” Bradley, who has been an Atlanta Public Schools bus operator since 2019.

Known for her kindness, generosity, calm demeanor, and no-nonsense approach to school bus management, Bradley is among the more than 400 APS Transportation Department employees who ensure student safety to and from school each day.

Bradley’s love for children makes her job even more rewarding.

“These are my bus babies, and the only thing that makes me get up and come to work everyday is my children,” said Bradley, who transports students in the Washington and Douglass clusters and is known for rewarding her well-behaved bus riders with special treats and snacks every Friday. “As a bus operator, I’ve learned that you have to be consistency is the key. Children are children, and I don’t mind redirecting as long as they are respectful. I can repeat myself all day. You kind of have to figure out how to make it work for you.”

Oct. 18 is Georgia Bus Driver Appreciation Day, and APS proudly celebrates superheroes like Bradley, as well as the district’s bus monitors, mechanics, technicians, transportation supervisors, and other key personnel, whose dedication, commitment, and hard work make it possible for our students to learn, engage, and graduate ready for college, career, and life.

APS also recognizes National School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 18-22. An active and evolving public education program, National School Bus Safety Week is an excellent way for parents, students, teachers, motorists, school bus operators, school administrators, and other interested parties to join forces and address the importance of school bus safety. Designed to promote school bus safety, school districts throughout the country observe School Bus Safety Week.

Throughout the week, APS will highlight various transportation staff members and their outstanding commitment to student safety.

John Franklin, executive director of Transportation, applauds every bus operator and monitor at Atlanta Public Schools for a job well done.

“Georgia Driver/Monitor Appreciation Day and National School Bus Safety Week are wonderful opportunities to pause and reflect upon all the Transportation Department does to ensure student safety and to enable academic achievement and enrichment for the students of APS,” Franklin said. “A committed team of 444 APS employees work every day to achieve our goals of providing safe and punctual transportation services. I want to highlight our cadre of school bus operators, bus operators for Special Trips and Programs, and our monitors, who are direct student service providers and impact students’ lives. Whether it is a trip to and from school, a Saturday trip to an athletic event, or supporting our students with disabilities, every operator and monitor does their job safely, with compassion, understanding and patience as they transport our nation’s future.”     

Just ask Bradley. Since joining APS in 2019, Bradley credits strong bus management skills and parent and school communication with her success as a bus operator. Her rules are simple: Stay seated. Use inside voices. No play fighting. Wear your mask to protect and keep others safe.

“I stop my bus before I deal with any behavior issues, so I don’t constantly have to take my eyes off the road,” said Bradley, a former Gwinnett County Transportation driver who is currently pursing her bachelor’s degree in education. “That way, I don’t have to embarrass the child and I don’t have to constantly redirect, especially once I call mom. It helps a lot. I have a pretty peaceful bus. I can play music and they’ll listen. No one stands, everyone is seated. All hands are in the bus. I keep rules at the front of my bus.”

Following the rules has its advantages. Students engage in self-correcting behavior and those who exhibited the most behavioral problems, are her bus managers, which provides a since of of authority. Those who display good behavior are rewarded with a special treat.

“Once I saw that more than 50 percent of them were catching on and understanding what’s expected, I haven’t had to write anyone up, there have been no referrals or suspensions, and I haven’t had any fights on my bus in three years. I can’t complain,” she said.

When she’s not busy transporting students, Bradley hones her comedic skills by performing at local comedy clubs under the stage name, “Big Que.” Prior to the pandemic, she traveled and performed as part of an ensemble cast in plays like “Good God Almighty” and “Head Over Heels.” Bradley also brings laughter to more than 50,000 TikTok followers with her hilarious videos.

Despite her comedic origins, Bradley still loves being a bus operator.

I love children,” she said. “Being a bus driver is a multi-tasking job. You have to watch road signs, remain calm, patient, and be consistent. It’s really rewarding.”

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