WCSD bus driver creates Christmas Bus

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SPANISH SPRINGS, Nev. (KOLO) -- Two weeks before Christmas, dozens of children in Spanish Springs are getting a holiday treat. Thanks to their bus driver, they're able to board the Christmas Bus.

"It's spectacular!" says Luke Mahan, 12, a student at Shaw Middle School. "You walk in and all of this color is just everywhere. There's ornaments and white and lights and it's beautiful."

Reactions like that are a big reason Holly Clark, a bus driver for the Washoe County School District, decorates her bus for the holidays.

"I love it, just seeing their faces," says Clark.

In October, she spent a long time putting up Halloween decorations on her bus. For Christmas, there's even more to see.

"It seems like there's a hundred ornaments hanging. There's a Christmas tree, there's wrapping, there's bows," says Erin Martin, 14, a student at Shaw Middle School. "It's beautiful."

Each ornament that dangles from the ceiling of the bus is hung with fishing wire and tape. Clark says it took her 19 hours to decorate the bus this holiday season. Because she did it over several days, she had to use a spare bus to drive her students to school over the last couple weeks. She wanted the big reveal to be a big surprise.

While Clark does it to brighten her students' days, administrators say it sends a larger message.

"It really lets the kids know how much she cares about them and how dedicated she is to this job," says Gina Leonhard, Principal at Shaw Middle School. "It's amazing because the kids feel like they're family and someone cares about them and they get to start their day off on the right foot."

The only problem now is the kids are now expecting these kinds of decorations on the bus when the next holiday comes up.

"That's what the kids are asking me. 'Are you going to do Valentine's Day?'" says Clark. "I said, 'Let's get through Christmas first.'"

Clark drives students to and from school at Yvonne Shaw Middle School and Alyce Taylor Middle School. While she has been driving for the Washoe County School District for a few years, this is the first year she has been on this route.

"We are so blessed to have Holly as a bus driver because she is so dedicated and works so hard for her kids," says Principal Leonhard. "We all really appreciate it, but the kids really appreciate it."