Management

Transportation staff fights back against cancer’s toll

Thomas McMahon
Posted on March 27, 2013
Stewart County Schools' former transportation supervisor, Francis Carson, was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in 2009. He died 16 months later.

Stewart County Schools' former transportation supervisor, Francis Carson, was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in 2009. He died 16 months later.

DOVER, Tenn. — For the transportation department at Stewart County Schools, raising money for the fight against cancer is personal.

In 2009, the district’s former transportation supervisor, Francis Carson, was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. He died 16 months later.

During Carson’s treatment, three other transportation employees were diagnosed with colon (or colorectal) cancer. One of them was Eric Watkins, Carson’s assistant director, who had taken on much of the day-to-day operations.

On top of all that, one of the district’s drivers lost his battle with lung cancer in 2011.

Rather than resign themselves to cancer’s deadly toll, the Stewart County Schools transportation department took action.

In 2010, the department decided to raise funds in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. That effort has continued in subsequent years.

Eric Watkins, now the district’s transportation supervisor, also battled colon cancer.
Eric Watkins, now the district’s transportation supervisor, also battled colon cancer.
The district’s fundraising is a competition among its 37 school buses. The students on the bus that raises the most money win a pizza party. The competition is called “Penny Wars,” although the students and drivers can collect other coins, bills and checks.

“Last year, our drivers and students raised over $4,000 for the battle against cancer,” Watkins, now the district’s transportation supervisor, told SBF. “This all happened in a district with only 37 drivers.”

Fortunately, Watkins and the other two transportation employees who were diagnosed with colon cancer after Carson have prevailed against the disease.

“We have all survived and all are working today,” Watkins said.

Related Topics: driver wellness, Tennessee

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Archie Boo

     | about 4 years ago

    This is an awesome way to promote awareness and help those who are affected by this disease. God bless Eric Watkins and the other staff members who were diagnosed and may they continue to fight alongside their community.

More Stories
Auto Safety House, the Thomas Built Buses dealer for Arizona, will operate as a brand of W.W. Williams. Seen here is a W.W. Williams service center.
News

W.W. Williams Acquires Auto Safety House

Auto Safety House, the Thomas Built Buses dealership for Arizona, will operate as a brand under the ownership of W.W. Williams, a provider of repair services and products.

News

Mother Gets Probation for Assaulting School Bus Driver

Kiesha Shannon of Ohio pleads guilty to attacking her daughter’s bus driver and is sentenced to three years of probation. The judge says he had limited sentencing options, which is why he didn’t give her jail time.

Product

Black Back Seat Covers

SynTec Seating Solutions is offering black back seat covers for its S3B and S3C school bus seats.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!