Gwinnett County

Gwinnett special education bus driver surprised with “Hidden Hero” award, caravan parade

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County school bus driver received a surprise of a lifetime when a group presented her with a huge honor at her home Monday.

Each year the Gwinnett County rotary club gives the “Hidden Hero Award” to a school transportation worker at the yearly driving training.

There was no in-person training this year, so the club and school administrators went a different route.

A caravan of cars rolled through a Dacula subdivision to surprise special education bus driver Michelle Bourdonnay.

The school district arranged it secretly with her daughter. She told her mom there was a pest control man coming by and that she needed to show him around the house.

She was surprised to say the least as she was handed the 2020 Hidden Hero Award.

‘We want to give you a plaque, flowers and a $500 check,” Gwinnett Rotary Club President Terry Spaim said.

“Are you serious?” Bourdonnay said. “I don’t do anything more special than any other of you all do.”


Fellow bus drivers and rotary club members disagree. Bourdonnay is very active both at school and in mission work at Atlanta Dream Center. She was a schoolteacher for seven years in Abu Dhabi.

Bourdonnay came to Gwinnett and took up driving a bus as she waited to transfer her teaching license. She may stay on the road.

“I really love my special needs children. I get very close to their families and them,” she said. “I’m kind of torn. I don’t know if I’m going back.”