All through the town, Mrs. Jo Jones' bus wheels went round and round. For 33 years, she ensured Marshfield R-1 school district students safely made it to their destinations. After all this time, Jones decided to hang up the keys and drove her bus one last time on Wednesday, Dec 21, 2022.
"It's hard, and I'm going to cry a lot," Jones says regarding her retirement announcement. "For so long, my students have meant everything to me. They make my day and are just great students. I did not want someone to take my children to school when I started. So that's how I got involved. And then I took my grandkids. In some cases, I have taken students to the school where I took their parents who are around here. It is an incredible job."
Looking back on her career Jones considers being a bus driver "A privilege."
"Honestly, it is a privilege to drive a school bus. I am so proud of the teachers that have helped with different things, and the staff at the Central Office are awesome with their support...And the parents trust me to take their children's students to school."
Jones would also advise that anyone can drive a school bus, you just have to have the right mindset.
"Everybody says they can't drive a school bus. But my one main question is, 'who's the adult?' You set your rules. You set up a little bit higher and stricter. You could always let up, but you can't reverse that. And you stick with your rules every day. The students do like structure. They like to know what to expect when they get on."
Just because Jones is retiring from driving buses does not mean her traveling days are over. On the contrary, since she is turning 70 soon, those traveling days are just starting.
"I'll be 70 in January and my husband has been ill for years. He's had another surgery, and hopefully, this will take care of his issues. We plan to do a lot of camping. I'm also going to see my sister and do other things I have been unable to do. Oh! I am planning on coming back and visiting my students in the bus barn occasionally."
"She will be missed," told Tony Blackwell, Transportation Director for the R-1 School district. "She and all of the bus drivers are so dependable."
Thank you, Mrs. Jo Jones, for 33 years of dedication and driving for the Marshfield R-1 school district.
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