Busy Busses in Wakulla

By: Valerie Lacy
By: Valerie Lacy

This may be the last time you see school busses sitting still. After training in Wakulla County, the busses will head out to Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton and Gulf Counties to pick up students for their first day of school.

Catherin and Charles Gilley are from Marianna. They've driven busses for 25 years now. For them, this isn't a job, it's a career.

Catherine Gilley said, "I think we have to remember is always be careful because the cargo we hold can't be replaced. We hold the most precious cargo in the world."

This husband and wife drive for the same district and the same school. At home they sometimes get a chance to talk about work.

Charles Gilley said, "What few minutes we're together. She works at the school house after she drives the bus, so…"

Both drivers are part of the 300-plus group gathered at Wakulla High School to buff up their bus driving skills. Risk managers want to make sure drivers know about the law when it comes to students and safety.

Pat McDaniel, Chipley, FL Risk Manager, said, "Bus drivers have one of the most important jobs in the school system. They're not just bus drivers, they're educators, they're the first people children see in the morning and the last people they see in the afternoons. They kind of set the tone for education."

The Gilleys say one day they'll retire, but it won't be this year, and they say it may not be next year either. This is the sixth year the school bus driver training has taken place in Wakulla County.


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