Diligent Drivers of GM


“Crazy John” and his chickens.

Halle Minner and Kayla Rautine, Reporters

How many miles do General McLane bus drivers cover every single day? Between seventeen schools, they drive an accumulative 3,300 miles, which is equivalent from here to Salt Lake City, Utah and back.

The General McLane School District has 35 regular bus drivers, three van drivers, and 15 substitute bus drivers. These drivers were honored the week of February 12-15 which was dubbed “Bus Driver Appreciation Week.”

One of our appreciated drivers is John “CJ” Gersims (the “C” stands for crazy), who has driven for GM for almost two year and also works custodial five hours a day. As well as working at GM, he has also been a drummer at McLane Church since 2001. “I occasionally still drum there, but I also drum on the New Beginnings worship team since 2017,” Gersims tells us.

What makes Gersims so different for the other bus drivers? Well aside from his love for his work, he has a love for his three noisy friends which often accompany him on his route. Their names are Urrstella, Kevina, and Perry. They are rubber chickens and each has their own personality.

It’s a long story how Gersims started joking around with his chickens. He met Kevina, his first chicken, when a worship team took a trip to Canada. “She was loud and obnoxious, like me,” he admits. The rest is history. The chickens started to accompany him on the drum kit during worship services at McLane Church.

Both John and the chickens love to make people laugh. “It seems like both adults and children alike have so many pressures upon them they need a good laugh now and then. It is also refreshing to hear clean humor, stated Gersims.

The chickens are a bit of a big deal. They have hung out with C. Wolf, the SeaWolves mascot as well as the Erie Otter’s Shooter. They hope to someday make a cameo at Broadway Dinner. It’s true that Gersims and his chickens get along very well, for they both share a love for the work that they do with the church and with GM. And the student’s notice. “He is a legend,” stated sophomore Clayton Bannister of Gersims. “And I like the chickens, too.”

“The chickens and I love GM – there are so many nice people there, very friendly, hard working, and caring young adults! It is important to feel love!” Says Gersims.

Another fun fact about Gersims, is that he once converted a school bus into a double-decker camper equipped with a living room, sink, washer, dryer, and bathroom. He traveled around the East Coast in the camper visiting Ft. Myers, Florida, Kansas City, Missouri and New York.

We should always make our bus drivers feel appreciated, especially when they care about us as much as CJ Gersims and his chickens care about us. “The people at GM are committed to young people being successful at life – today that is so important because of all the stuff they need to contend with.,” says Gersims. “GM, like myself, want them to love life!”