|‘You take on a lot of responsibility when you put little ones in the bus and drive away’|
Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston:
Bus driver Paul Holland Jr. of Glade Hill was recognized by the Franklin County School Board in May for his 54 years of service. Holland is retiring July 1. Above, Superintendent Mark Church, left, presents Holland with a gift.
Monday, June 30, 2014
By EMILY WOOD - News-Post Intern
After 54 years as a bus driver for Franklin County public schools, Paul Holland Jr. of Glade Hill is retiring, effective July 1.
Holland began his career on Aug. 1, 1960, while he was still a high school student.
"He's driven everything from a bus to a van to a handicapped bus," said Donna Carter, supervisor of school transportation.
Holland was recognized at the annual drivers' banquet and a school board meeting in May.
"The people have been great to work through many changes over the years," said Holland. "My first cousin Carlton Brooks retired after 50 years of driving, and my friend Roger Amos says he thought that we would end up retiring together. But Roger will probably still be driving when he's 100."
"I feel privileged to have been able to work all these years with the good people that oversee the transportation system for the Franklin County public schools," said Holland.
"Driving carries a lot of responsibility and great demand on your time," he added. "You take on a lot of responsibility when you put little ones in the bus and drive away. Precious cargo like these children makes you think about how serious your driving skills are in protecting their safety."
After retirement, Holland plans to continue driving part-time as a substitute.
"It'll soon be time to start back up again, and I'm looking forward to getting back into it," said Holland.
"Paul has been a really familiar face for me this year in my new position," said John Crutchfield, director of school transportation. "He's always smiling, always happy, and loves being around the kids."
"We are blessed to have caring people looking after the school children in Franklin County, and I thank you for having faith in me and allowing me to drive for the county," said Holland. "Best wishes for continuing the safety record that the system has maintained for so many years."
Holland is a farmer and has been married to his wife, Donna, for 32 years. They have one daughter together.
He plans to continue farming and hopes to spend a lot of his time fishing and attending car shows.