Local Schools

School Buses Full of Memories for Bill Acton

Bill Acton has been driving a school bus route as well as driving students on the bus to their sporting events for 10 years now. He has been far more than a bus driver to Gardendale students over the years. He is a supporter and champion of their growth and success.

“He is always cheering for us during our games, and tells us that we did great!” – Zoe Caufield

“He is always so funny and kind!” – Brier Hight

Mr. Acton is retiring this year. We asked him to share his story and what he has enjoyed most about being around students and school sports for the last 10 years.

Treye Hanner: Tell our readers a little about you and your journey? When did you decide to become a school bus driver and how long have you doing it?

Bill Acton: It started out in 1983 when I drove a church bus. I picked up girls and boys for RA’s and GA for 10 years. Then I retired from Jefferson County Roads and Transportation in August 2011 as a truck driver and labor supervisor. In 2012, I decided to start driving a school bus because of the benefits. I have been driving for 10 years.

Treye Hanner: You have experienced the highs and lows of many Gardendale sports teams during your time driving players to games. What was that like and what was your favorite part of the experience of being around the kids and coaches?

Bill Acton: Most of the families are loyal followers of the sports programs. My favorite experience is watching the young men and women mature in sports and seeing them compete and be competitive.

Treye Hanner: How have you seen schools and kids change over your years of driving for them?

Bill Acton: I have enjoyed watching the kids grow from small children to young men and women who are poised and ready to take on the world.

Treye Hanner: If you could share some of your wisdom with the students you get to drive to class and games each day, what would it be?

Bill Acton: To continue to be respectful to your parents, community leaders, professors and, most of all, to yourself. Also, to follow your heart and work to the best of your ability every day to achieve your goals.

Treye Hanner: You plan to retire this year. What will you miss the most?

Bill Acton: Mostly, watching the young athletes grow and persevere in their academic and athletic achievements.

Treye Hanner: What is next for you now? What do you look forward to most in retirement?

Bill Acton: I plan on traveling. My first trip will be to Hawaii to visit Pearl Harbor where my father served in the Army during World War II. I am going to visit family that I have not seen in years and I also plan on relaxing and enjoying my life.