Manila bus drivers starting 41st year
Bob White, known by most of his friends and students as "Coach White" is ready to start his 41st year as a school bus driver. His 40 year bus driving career has been at only five schools, Osceola, Berryville, Wynne, Leachville and Manila. He has been at Manila since 1985.
Coach White retired from coaching at Manila in 2001 with 37 seasons to his credit. He had his retirement plans ready and planned to continue drive the bus.
"I like being around kids, they won't let you get old," White said.
In addition to driving the bus, he serves as a substitute teacher at Manila working two or three days a week. He substitutes in the junior high school but is available for other grades.
"I'll take anything but kindergarten. Those ladies are underpaid," White said with a smile.
Through the years, White has also served as substitute bus driver and has driven every route at Manila Public Schools. In addition to driving students to and from school, he has driven teams to basketball games, football games, volley ball games, track meets and more.
White said he enjoys driving the bus.
"You have to let kids be kids. You can't expect them to sit and not say anything. I have very little problems on my bus," White said.
White said he had only one accident in all of the years he has been driving the bus and that was on the parking lot at Manila.
"All buses are different. I was driving a new bus and the chassis was long and I swerved too close and hit a car on the parking lot," White said.
Manila Superintendent Charolette Wagner said she was pleased to have Bob White still working with the school system.
"He is good with the students and dependable in all areas. Bus drivers are key employees of the school. They get the students here and back home safely," Superintendent Wager said.