RICHLAND ONE EMPLOYEE PROFILE: Longtime Bus Driver Elijah Green Finds Joy in Working with Students
Over 15,000 Richland One students start the school day by seeing their bus drivers. When students step onto a bus driven by Elijah Green, their ride to school is much more than that.
“I can tell when a child is having a good day or a bad day,” said Green, who has been a bus driver in Richland One for 37 years. “When you try to talk to them before they get to school, they’ll have a better day.”
Along with being a longtime district employee, Green is a Richland One graduate who attended Meadowfield Elementary School, Atlas Road Elementary School, Hand Middle School, and Dreher High School.
In 1985, during his junior year at Dreher, he started working as a part-time bus driver. After graduating in 1987, he was moved to full-time. He has family members who were bus drivers and that influenced him to become one as well.
“I really like driving and helping the kids get to school on time,” said Green. “I like being on time, so I want them to be on time.”
Green’s current route takes him through the Leesburg Road area. He picks up and drops off students from Brennen Elementary School, Crayton Middle School, and A.C. Flora High School. He has been driving this route every day for 30 years.
“I’ve known most of my kids since elementary school. I see them in middle school and high school. I’ve basically known them all through their life,” said Green. “Some kids, I’ve had their parents on my bus.”
Green says he likes getting to know the students on his bus, even forming friendships with them and their parents. But he says the biggest challenge is when he’s first getting to know a student.
“No child is the same. Every child is different,” said Green. “Sometimes, you’ll talk to a child and they’ll start crying. Sometimes, they’ll just look at you and shake their head.”
Once Green gets to know a student, he says he can work with them on a one-on-one basis.
“You’re more than just a bus driver,” he said. “You’re a parent. You’re a minister. You’re a bit of everything. It’s all rolled into one.”
Green never thought he’d be a bus driver for 37 years, but for him, every day is fun, whether he’s driving students to school or taking them on a field trip.
“If you love kids and working with kids, this is the job for you,” he said.
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