Donna, School Bus Driver and
Grandmother Times Four
Why did Donna become a Fairfax County school bus driver? Because of the income, insurance coverage and, most importantly, the freedom. You see, Donna enjoys driving a bus, but what she cares about most is her four grandchildren. Her schedule of working early mornings and afternoons allows her the best way to spend time with her extended family. That means she can attend the karate exhibitions, soccer matches and chess-club matches in which three of her grandchildren are involved. And there's time to care for her three-year-old grandson who was born with heart disease and has already undergone three surgeries in his young life. Donna also loves spending time with her newfound kids on the bus route. She is a person who really cares about people, which is something you should expect from someone who was a nurse before becoming a bus driver.
Said, School Bus Driver and
People become a Fairfax County school bus driver for different reasons. For Said, it was all about the income for his family, as well as the outstanding benefits. But once he started driving, he found another compelling reason to stay. Every day, he gets to see the world through the eyes of a child. Driving a bus full of kids takes him back to what it was like to be younger, which helps him to better understand and appreciate his own children. And because of his morning and afternoon work schedule, as well as summers off, Said is also pursuing his dream of becoming a successful business owner. He presently drives his own ice cream truck, manages the business and has hopes for expansion in whatever direction opportunity takes him.
Franklin, School Bus Driver and
After three years on the job, Franklin knows the benefits of being a bus driver for Fairfax County go well beyond monetary rewards. Sure, he appreciates the income and benefits, but watching his riders grow and learn just gives special meaning to the job. Franklin drives "his" special-education kids throughout the County. As a "floater," his route can change often and he enjoys the day-to-day variety. But, most of all, he enjoys being surprised by his kids. To see a child who wasn't able to walk or communicate one year earlier step onto the bus the next year and start conversing brings true meaning to his work. And when he gets behind a piano during his time off, he just seems to be able to convey more emotion and joy in his playing because of the wonderful life experiences he has every working day.
Steve, School Bus Driver and
It's 4:15 AM and, once again, Steve bolts out of bed beaming, just as he has over the last ten years. That's because he can't wait to get on the job. After a long career in facilities management at the Internal Revenue Service, Steve has transformed himself into Mr. Steve, a Fairfax County school bus driver and the favorite of kids and parents alike. While the extra money is nice, it's not the real reason why Steve drives for the County. It really gets down to having something to do, the flexibility of a long break in between morning and afternoons, and the chance to make a difference for a new generation. Of course, there's also time available to pursue other activities in his full life, from playing senior-league softball with Murphy's Law to hitting the highway on his second favorite vehicle — a Harley motorcycle.
Carla, School Bus Driver and Community Volunteer
Carla came into her job naturally. Her sister also drives for FCPS. So, she already knew about all the benefits of being a school bus driver. Since Carla mostly drives middle school kids, she gets the added advantage of being around a group of kids full of new ideas, laughter and a gleam in their eyes that says, "Anything is possible and we're going to prove it today." Equally important, Carla's unique morning-afternoon work schedule allows her to have more time with her husband and the opportunity to remain highly involved in her church activities.
Karen, School Bus Driver and
Work-Life Balance Aficionado
When a second grader brings you a hand-drawn poster of a school bus with the words “I love Miss Karen” on it, you know something is really going right in your life. Just ask
Karen, Fairfax County school bus driver and mother of four. After 18 years of clerical and research activities at the Defense Mapping Agency, a part of the Department of Defense, Karen became a bus driver in order to continue working and spend the most time with her children. She has succeeded in striking a perfect work-life balance. And in addition to being with her own children — including two on her bus route — Karen now has scores of other kids looking to her for guidance and support. An income, solid benefits and a unique work schedule — that's what has helped Karen meet her drive for personal success as a Fairfax Country school bus driver.