The week of Feb. 13-17 is North Carolina’s School Bus Driver Appreciation Week, and each day one of our dedicated drivers will be introduced to the HCPS family.
A chill woman with a big heart, Fionna Winn has been a bus driver for Hillandale Elementary for eight years – since her child was relocated to the school from Upward Elementary.
When her son transferred to Hillandale in 2010, Winn was told that a bus driver was set to retire and Peggy Marshall, then Lead Teacher at the school, asked Winn if she would like to be a bus driver.
Winn said she was hesitant at first, adding, “(It was a) little scary to think that you are going to transport all these children, but I enjoyed it.”
That’s partially because her bus route has been rather entertaining.
During her first two months of driving, Winn said, she was nearly finished with her afternoon route with only two students left on the bus, when two dogs jumped onto the bus as soon as she opened the door. As soon as Winn turned around and asked the two students if they were okay, she scooted the dogs off the bus. She said it seemed as if the dogs were just curious to see the inside of a bus.
Winn cares for the safety and health of all her riders. She has seen kindergarteners board her bus for the first time, and then six years later, watched them graduate from the 5th grade. She has loved seeing the children grow up and develop unique personalities.
Not only has Winn established relationships with her little bus riders, she also knows their parents. Winn lives close to the bus route she drives so she has gotten to know the people in the neighborhood. She has teased her kids saying she will tell their parents if they misbehave.
Ultimately, Winn wants the best for her riders, their families, and the school.
“They know they can seek me out for anything,” she said.
– By Alex Ramirez, Early College
Public Information Office Intern, HCPS