Elk Rapids Bus Driver Creates TikToks on the Chicken Nugget Bus

“One if the things I do is create community. It’s who I am, it’s what I do.”

Meet Wayne Potter.

During the week — he’s an Elk Rapids school bus driver.

“I’m typically up between 3:30 and 4 in the morning. But honestly, I wake up and I’m excited to come in.”

On the weekends, he’s a minister.  Wayne Potter

“29 years I’ve been doing family ministries. So I work with children and teenagers….There are some drivers where driving the bus is what they do, they just get on and drive,” says Potter.

It didn’t take long for Wayne to realize that he could do more than just drive the bus…

“I think in the educational system, one of the things that’s overlooked a lot is transportation. I’m the first person that those kids see every morning. A teacher may have a year with a student and over the course of a week have a few minutes here and there to talk to them…I have students that have been on my bus basically every day for 8 years already. Some of those have 30 to 40 minutes.”

And with all that time spent together, you kind of make an identity for yourself.

Paige Fosdick, a sophomore and fellow chicken nugget, says, “He’s always been a very happy person, he greets everyone when we walk on the bus, with a smile. He takes the time to like talk to every single person I that wants to talk to him.”

“He’s very like including for everyone like he makes everyone matter,” says Reese Fosdick, a 7th grader, who also rides the Chicken Nugget bus.

….Or for the bus you drive on.

“It’s difficult for the children to remember numbers, so we use animals. So our animal is the chicken. We started calling ourselves the chicken nuggets,” says Potter.

With each bus ride, and every conversation,

Wayne decided to share what it was like to be a bus driver, on the popular app — TikTok. Wayne 2

“There’s just so many fun things that happen on the bus and I thought, ya know other people would be interested in hearing this. So much negativity everywhere today, it’s a venue I can use to be like, you know what, maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem. This is the silly conversations that we had on the bus today.”

But these TikToks and bus rides go so much farther than anyone would ever know…

Wayne shares a personal story with me, “My wife and I can’t have children, of course it’s sad that we can’t have children, and we would love to have children of our own, but we also look at it as this is an opportunity that not everyone else has. She designs stickers for all the kids on the holidays and she buys toys for the kids.”

Meshing his two worlds together — ministry and bus driving, Wayne and his wife have taken it one step further, for the students…

“Last year we provided a thanksgiving dinner for a family that was kind of in need, we’ve done graduation parties for kids that were in the foster care system.”

With all that he does for the chicken nuggets, Wayne Potter just wants them to know…

“I really care about them a lot. I don’t know that 20 years from now, they’re gonna remember my name, but they’re gonna remember that someone listened to them.”

Catch Mr. Wayne share his chicken nugget bus ride stories on Tiktok HERE!

Categories: the four