Darci Brown Award

ST. FRANCIS, Minn. – Education Minnesota recently named Darci Brown as the recipient of the 2023-24 Education Support Professional of the Year during an awards ceremony in October.

“This award means a lot to me, not just for me but for all the bus drivers who work for St. Francis and also all the bus drivers in our great state of Minnesota,” said Brown, who is a bus driver for St. Francis Area Schools. “It means that community members and individuals within our schools are starting to see bus drivers as more than just someone who drives the kids to school or someone they don’t want to get stuck behind when they’re in a hurry. 

Brown has been with SFAS for seven years as a bus driver and helps out in the Middle School and High School kitchens between routes when help is needed.

“I love our community of St. Francis!,” Brown said. “The parents and students make our community amazing. Working in a district that is rather rural it gives me the opportunity to get to know my students. I have lived in St Francis for over 20 years and my children have gone to school within our district. The sense of family in our schools is exceptional. The district cares about the students and that’s great to be a part of.”

To earn the award, Brown was nominated and then completed an application.

“I also I had to include five letters of recommendation from other individuals,” Brown said. “I was contacted about a week later with an email stating that I had made the top 5 finalists.”

There was still one more step Brown had to go through before being named the winner. Brown was interviewed by a four-panel committee made up of representatives from Education Minnesota.

“I would not be the bus driver that I am without all the support of my coworkers who have been doing this job a lot longer than I have,” Brown said. “This job can be difficult sometimes but our bus garage is like a family and we are there to support each other endlessly. I also would like to encourage anyone who is looking for a rewarding job to come and apply.”