Longtime Sherman bus driver, riders call "grandma", retires

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SHERMAN, TEXAS -- Beatrice Kelly has made this bus her life's work.

For 32 years, Miss B has safely brought kids to and from school, most recently driving special needs students.

Today was her last day of some 11,000 she's spent with students.

"So it's just, it's a very emotional day for me," Kelly said.

"I am the first one they see of the morning connected to a school district, and I am the last one they see connected to a school district. I can either make or break that child's attitude for that day," Kelly said.

On Kelly's bus, her aide Eddie checks the students' report cards and helps them with their homework.

She's even been known to buy shoes for students in need.

"They all refer to her as grandma. She treats them as her grandchildren," bus aide Eddie Lindsey said.

Her co-workers feel the same warmth.

"She has been kind of the uh, mother model, I guess, for the other ones," Sherman ISD Transportation Director Randy Reddell said.

Kelly's colleague Louis Hughley is also retiring today after 12 years on the job.

"It's kind of a mixed emotion thing. It feels good but then it's something I'm going to miss," Louis Hughley said.

Kelly stumbled upon this job during a difficult time in her life. Her husband walked out on her, so she started driving the bus to make ends meet.

She fell in love with the job and her riders.

"I love these kids. I'll be dropping off one I've had since he started riding the bus. I'll be dropping him off shortly and that's going to be hard," Kelly said.

32 years later, a labor of love is complete.

"I'm done. I'm finished. It's been a good run," Kelly said.

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