LYNCHBURG, Va. — Frankie Keen has earned the respect of students and parents alike during her years as a special-needs school bus driver for Lynchburg City Schools.
At 72 years old, Keen works eight-hour days, driving 129 miles while transporting elementary and high school students to and from school. Shari Merrill, a bus aide, assists Keen on routes.
The News & Advance reports that Keen has been driving school buses since 1971, serving both special-needs and regular-ed students. A desire to transport her own children to school prompted her to become a bus driver.
Keen told the newspaper that she chooses to drive a school bus because she loves the students and she views herself as a surrogate parent for the kids.
“They belong to the mom and daddy when they’ve got them, but when they are here, they are mine,” Keen said.