Driving instructors

Army vet finds new driving school bus for John Hardin High | Local News

Bus driver Ronnie Brown and his bus supervisor Melody Langley were excited for the last day of school.

With several pizzas and drinks, the two would surprise their John Hardin High School students on Thursday as they finished their school year on the #0707 bus.

As the students walk, Brown smiles and talks to the students, giving off an energy that seems to fill the school bus.

Brown has worked as a bus driver for four years. Langley has been Brown’s monitor for the past school year.

Langley said working with Brown is fun, and although she has to get up at 5 a.m., she said she doesn’t dread it.

“It’s never a dull moment with Ronnie and I can say that for sure. He’s just a lot of fun. He’s always laughing and smiling, and he has the best smile on his face,” Langley said. really a good person.”

Originally from Louisville, Brown currently lives in Elizabethtown. Along with driving buses, he also works at Sam’s Club, and has been doing so for three years.

When Brown turned 62, he said he remembered walking past a Hardin County Schools banner advertising that the school system was hiring bus drivers. Having seen this, he decided to apply. He is now 66 years old.

Although he said driving a bus isn’t for everyone, he said he’s heard people say they don’t want to drive a school bus specifically because they don’t want to take care of other people’s children. He sees it more simply.

“You respect them and they respect you,” he said. “It’s not rocket science.”

When he started, he was taken aback by the fact that some more rural parts of the county don’t have street signs, which can be difficult to maneuver.

He also said the timing of departures and arrivals at bus stops can also be difficult. He said that this school year he had some breakdowns, which can upset the students. However, he said it was all part of the job.

“You do what you can to lessen the aggravation,” he said.

This school year, Patty Foote helped her grandchildren, Benjamin and Alice, get on the school bus in the morning because their parents have early morning work.

She said early on that she knew she could trust Brown and Langley with her grandchildren. She said she thought Brown would be able to keep them safe.

She tells a story in which Alice had to use the toilet. Because they are one of the last stops, Brown and Langley went to Chick-fil-A to use their restroom, then called Foote to let him know.

“And from then on, I brought them donuts every Tuesday,” she said.

Brown is a US Army veteran. After graduating from high school in Louisville, he went straight into the military and remained there for a total of six years. He was stationed at Fort Hood in Texas.

He was then also part of a few units of the National Guard, notably in Elizabethtown, Louisville and Indiana.

For now, Brown said he will continue to drive the school bus for as long as he can. He has been driving the same for four years. Brown said his favorite part of the job is actually driving the bus himself.

“Me and this bus, we have a deal. We want to stay here until the wheels fall off her or me,” he said.