Transportation names Allison as ‘Staff Member of the Year’
MADISON – Growing up in Madison and attending Madison City Schools, Morris Allison learned from many great teachers and mentors.
“However, some of the most influential people in the district were my bus drivers,” he said. Allison is 2019 “Staff Member of the Year” in MCS Transportation Department.
“The (bus drivers) that always acknowledged me as I got on/off the bus and asked me how my day was going left lasting impressions on me,” Allison said. “Mr. Winburn was still driving a bus when I became a driver. I got to work with him every day until he passed away. He will always be very special to me.”
For almost 10 years, he has driven a school bus in Madison — five years as a lead bus driver.
He also trains the district’s new drivers. “I teach prospective drivers everything they need to know about driving a school bus and prepare them for a three-day class they must attend to obtain an Alabama School Bus Driver certificate,” Allison said. “I’m proud to say that all students that go through my training can pass the driving course with flying colors.”
As a Madison native, he “never left. My family, the Allisons, have lived in this community for over 70 years. It is home for us,” he said.
Most people don’t realize the challenges that a school bus driver faces, he said. A driver must master technical knowledge about the bus, laws and strict regulations before he or she ever learns how to drive it.
District guidelines require bus drivers to complete annual re-certification and participate in random drug screenings year-round. “But most importantly, as school bus drivers, we are constantly on alert as we drive, scanning the roadways for the presence of danger so we can avoid it. Sometimes, it can take quite a balancing act to keep a bus full of energetic kids under control so that the driver is not distracted and can keep everyone safe,” Allison said.
“Even with all of responsibility my position carries, I love what I do, I care about my kids, and I hope that I can continue driving for many more years,” Allison said.
In his spare time, Allison demonstrates his love of animals by volunteering at animal shelters and stables in Madison County.
He grows tropical plants in his house and raises a large garden on family land. “I have a very green thumb,” Allison said. “I share the harvest with friends, family and my co-workers.”