Haley Awarded Outstanding Trucker Buddy
John Haley, driver for Oakley Transportation, has been nominated and named an Outstanding Trucker Buddy by his teacher, Linda Johnson of Sunset School in Oak View, CA. John has been a Trucker Buddy for many years, and is a shining example of what the program is all about. Here is what Linda had to say about Trucker Buddy John:
“I have been part of the Trucker Buddy program for almost 18 years. John Haley has been paired with my fifth grade class as our Trucker Buddy since 2014. I had three Trucker Buddies before moving to California four years ago and being paired with John. I had always raved about my previous buddies, and with each new match, I always thought that I had “the best one.” After the first few months of being matched with John Haley, I realized that my idea of “the best one” was falling way short of what “the best one” actually is! John Haley, without a doubt, is the best Trucker Buddy a class could ever wish for!
John starts each year by getting to know the class, and we exchange many letters back and forth. In each letter he teaches the students about himself, his family, his career, the places he travels, and the history of different places in our country. With each word John really knows how to connect with the students to get them interested in the things he has to say. He uses his sense of humor, as well as his compassion, to reach out to the kids. A few months into the school year he starts writing individual postcards to the students. In those cards he responds directly to their letters, asking them questions about the things they chose to write to him about. He responds to their individual stories and makes comments about the parts of their lives they have shared with him. And the writing he does on a postcard is not the typical writing; he prints very small, so that he can write more and respond to more of what the individual students wrote to him. Each card is personalized in a way that makes every child feel special with each mail delivery. There are some days when we receive up to 12 postcards at a time! With each card he includes the name of city he is in as well as the state capital, so each time we share the cards aloud it is another opportunity for the class to practice their states and capitals, which is a standard in fifth grade. Not a week goes by that we do not receive mail from John at least two or three times. The students look forward to the mail delivery, and with each announcement that we have cards from John, the class erupts into cheers!
Not only is he timely and dedicated to writing often to the class and to individual students (all 34 of them!), he is always thinking of special projects he can do for and with the class. He started a state magnet collection and a stamp collection for us, and he will send a new state magnet and special edition stamps with information about them from time to time. He came up with an idea to have a truck coloring contest around the time he was planning to buy a new truck, and the students designed the truck and trailer, and then we had the class vote on the best designs. John sent gift cards for the winners. Through his travels John decided that sending postcards about Route 66 would be fun and educational, and the kids are working on a display about the historic highway. We receive random packages with books about the places he has taught us about, candy treats, Christmas chocolates, and this year he came up the idea to have a class photographer to document special events. He sent a disposable camera, a photo album, and a special letter to the student that he and I discussed could benefit from having the special assignment of class photographer. John always seems to be able to catch on to the children’s personalities and life circumstances. He has a heart for the underdog, and being a teacher at a Title One school, I will say that there are many underdogs in our class. John does what he can to notice the positive traits in all students, but specifically in those that struggle. He sees a diamond where others might just see dust. And he knows how to shine that diamond and allow those students to not just see that they are special, but to truly feel that they are special. My students call John their friend, and for some of them he one of the few constants in their life. I am thankful to him for the way he cares for my class. I am forever grateful for all of the time, effort, dedication, and love he puts into the work he does as our Trucker Buddy.
Without a doubt, we have the World’s Best Trucker Buddy in John Haley. My students wrote a book for him, and I am including a copy for you as part of our nomination package. Those short paragraphs from each student are the best nomination letters you will receive. They come straight from their hearts! Unfortunately, I do not have a high-resolution photograph of John, but if you can just imagine a man with a heart full of love for his fifth grade Trucker Buddies at Sunset School, then you will have a pretty accurate visual image of him.
Thank you for considering John Haley as an Outstanding Driver. I appreciate the Trucker Buddy program, and I truly hope that you will realize how valuable he is, and I hope that he will be recognized for all that he contributes to this program and to all of the students he is able to reach in our time together.”
Trucker Buddy International is proud to name John Haley an Outstanding Trucker Buddy, and grateful for his many years of service in the community. John will be honored at the 2019 Great American Truck Show.
Tags: outstanding driver