Brant Perry usually begins his day at 4 a.m. when he gets ready and makes the drive from Missouri City to the Friendswood ISD bus barn. Once he arrives at work around 6 a.m., he settles in, does his routine check-ups on his bus, and starts his route to pick up his “important passengers.” These passengers are what makes the job so enjoyable, according to Perry.
“I live so far away but I drive over here because I love the kids who are on my bus,” he stated. “I love the parents who I talk to. Every morning they’re outside talking to me and waving to me and they’re so excited, so that makes it worth it.”
One of those parents is Julianne McCarty who said she can see just how special Perry is to the students.
“Bus drivers transport our most precious cargo, and Mr. Perry does this with pride,” she said. “He relates well with the kids and has a genuine happiness about him. It’s evident that he enjoys his job, and that translates each day into the hearts of FISD kids.”
McCarty’s daughter, Friendswood Junior High sixth-grader Claire, agreed.
“He’s the best bus driver I’ve ever had,” Claire said. “He’s one of my favorite people who I get to see every day.”
Perry said building relationships with the students is something that is very important to him.
“I think it’s important to build relationships because we’re one of the first people they see during their school day and I love just smiling at them and saying good morning,” he stated.
Before he was a bus driver, Perry worked in law enforcement but knew he had a different purpose for his life.
“I used to work for a Sheriff’s Department in Dallas and I was wanting to get out of that,” Perry said. “I like driving, I’m good with people, and I started thinking about what I wanted to do at the point of changing my career. Ideally, I wanted to get into driving a charter bus, but I was told to start out by driving a school bus and once I did that, I really enjoyed it and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Perry drove a school bus in Dallas until his wife’s job led them to the Houston area, then it was time to start searching for the right place; that is when he found Friendswood ISD.
“I like a smaller district; it’s more family-oriented. You’re not just a number like at a big district, so I was looking for that and I came across Friendswood, applied, been here ever since and I love it,” Perry said. “It feels like a family here. The parents are nice, I get to know them, and you get to know the kids after having them for so many years. It’s a nice District.”
McCarty said the District loves Perry as much as he loves the District.
“It’s refreshing to work with people in FISD who are always positive and upbeat,” she said. “His kindness is contagious and I’m thankful that he is in a position to impact our kids in a positive way.”
One of the ways he has positively impacted students was in December when Perry surprised his Friendswood Junior High riders with a gift.
“I’ve been lucky. My group has been good and they were really good last year too,” Perry said. “I thought some of them probably don’t get much for Christmas and I have extra money and I wanted to give them something just because I felt like giving.”
Claire, who was on that route, recalled the moment Perry surprised them.
“Randomly, in the middle of our route to drop everyone off at the end of the day, [Perry] stopped and made an announcement,” Claire said. “He said he was so thankful to have us and said we were so amazing and gave everyone $25 Amazon gift cards.”
This made Claire think even more highly of Perry.
“He goes out of his way in enormous ways,” she said. “I think he’s a good role model because he shows us that you can give kindness and respect to everybody.”
“Mr. Perry is a bus driver who goes the extra mile,” she said.
FISD is very grateful for Brant Perry and all that he does for the students of this District. We are appreciative of his kindness and his hard work as he drives Cline, Windsong, FJH and FHS clinical students to and from their destinations safely.
**Fun fact about Mr. Perry: He won the Region 4 School Bus Road-e-o and finished 8th in the State School Bus Road-e-o during the 2018-2019 school year. Let’s wish him good luck as he competes again this year!