Dori Gades received the Pay it Forward Stevens County award at the Hancock school, where she is a bus driver.

Hancock Schools bus driver Dori Gades is this month’s recipient of the Pay it Forward Stevens County award. In her nominating letter, Hancock business teacher Amy Daugherty said that Gades’ biggest concern on her route is student safety and students standing out in the cold. “She will often let a family know that she is just about to arrive at their house so the kids will know when to run out to the driveway….” Daugherty said Gades has a “huge heart” and is a foster mom, “has taken people into her home who need a helping hand, and is the first one to donate money if she knows a student is in need.”

Hancock language arts teacher Nicole Schmidt said in her nominating letter that Gades purchases suckers with her own money for every student on the last day of school. She noted that students have twice dedicated their yearbooks to her in recent years. “I have also witnessed Dori purchase food for students at games because they did not have money. This is not something a normal bus driver would do…I have never met a person like her before in my life.”

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