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Watauga County School Bus Mechanics Presented with Servant’s Heart Award

Last Updated on October 26, 2022 9:58 am

BOONE — During their October meeting, the Watauga County Board of Education presented the Servant’s Heart Award to WCS School Bus Mechanics, Dillon Smith and Nathan Jernigan. The award is presented by the board to any teacher, student or staff member who goes above and beyond their regular duties and shows exemplary service to Watauga County Schools.

The school district’s transportation director Jeff Lyons said that, while both men were excellent service technicians and were vital to keeping Watauga’s bus fleet on the road, their nomination  was intended to highlight their willingness to fill in and drive school buses when no regular driver was available. He said the two had driven bus routes almost every day this school year in addition to their regular work.

“These two young men have been driving a school bus almost every day this school year, as well as keeping up their monthly inspections and required services on the vehicles they maintain, sometimes working 11-14 hours per day to get it done,” Lyons said. “They do this because they see something that needs to be done and they do it. They do it because they know that many students in our district depend on school buses to get to and from school. Without the efforts of these two men, there would have been days when many of our students would not have had access to school bus transportation.”

Lyons said Smith has been a mechanic with Watauga County Schools for 14 months and has a daughter who attends Hardin Park School. Jernigan has been with the school system for 3 years, beginning his career as a school bus driver at the age of 19. He has been working as a mechanic for almost 2 years.

Watauga County School is hiring for bus driver and monitor positions, those interested may contact Jeff Lyons at or by calling (828) 264-7190.

Smith and Jernigan are presented their award by Transportation Director Jeff Lyons.

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