Barbara Wheeler, superintendent of Kent County Public Schools, portrayed school bus driver Pam Ward as a hero during the recent board of education meeting. Ward received a standing ovation twice from the capacity crowd. While driving a bus from Rock Hall to Kent County Middle School on March 5, Ward heard what she described as an odd noise, a crackle, a sizzle, and drove the bus onto the shoulder of state Route 20 near Broad Neck Road. That noise turned out to be a marine flare gun that a 12-year-old allegedly brought onto the bus. That flare went off, and caused a fire that destroyed the bus.