Special Needs Transportation

Veteran bus driver has big heart

Posted on April 5, 2010

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.

Comments ( 3 )
  • Karen

     | about 8 years ago

    Commendable, I've also been in the SB transportation industry for many years. They are not Yours- You can mentor, challenger, encourager, however, they are your responsibility, you are not their parent, surrogate or otherwise. I've known drivers who go to the students door in the morning, dress the child, even feed the child. Drivers job is safe transportation and understanding the childs disabilities Unfortunately, many drivers would be better parents than those who gave birth. Please be professional.

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