SANDBRIDGE, Va. (WAVY) — People in a Virginia Beach community are paying tribute to a woman they say was one of a kind. Cheryl Crayle served Virginia Beach City Public Schools for more than three decades.
Her former students say she was dedicated to her job — driving children to and from Kellam High School, Princess Anne Middle School and Redmill Elementary School.
“She just loved them. She was like our village,” said Jonnie Mellen, whose children were assigned to Crayle’s bus.
Crayle cared and checked in on her students daily, from handing out holiday treats to sharing recipes.
This week, Crayle passed away. In remembrance of the woman that left an impact on current and former students, the community has created a memorial of sorts.
Her bus, number 14, is parked along Sandfiddler Road in Sandbridge right next to the beach — her favorite spot in Hampton Roads.
Crayle’s former students from past and present stopped by to pay their respects to the woman they say was one of a kind.
“She was such a loving person, she was really funny,” a former student told 10 On Your Side.
In addition to the hundreds of kids Crayle took care of and drove over the year, she had three of her own. Crayle also leaves behind grandchildren.
“This is what she loved,” said Crayle’s daughter, Jessica, as she gazed at the pictures and mementos lining her mother’s school bus while holding her young son. “She was an amazing woman and I’m honored to call her our mother, I truly am. Seeing the kids out here this morning while we were doing this, it really touched me and I hope she knows how much she was really loved.”
Bus 14 will be parked along Sandfiddler Road in Sandbridge now through Sunday.