Steve Powell/Staff Photo
                                Shelly Henderson is retiring after 41 1/2 years as a school bus driver in Marysville.

Steve Powell/Staff Photo Shelly Henderson is retiring after 41 1/2 years as a school bus driver in Marysville.

Marysville’s been leaving the school bus driving to her for over 41 years

MARYSVILLE – Shelly Henderson doesn’t worry anymore about kids misbehaving on her school bus.

She knows their mothers, and some of their grandmothers as well. Henderson has been driving for the Marysville School District for 41 1/2 years.

If a kid acts up, she’s been known to say, “Your mother was never this way.” And the child responds, “You know my mom?”

Henderson started driving bus not long after graduating from Marysville High School. She was looking for a job and decided to give it a try. She said the test was similar to driver’s ed.

“It’s not as severe as it is now,” she said.

Henderson said when she was younger she sometimes drove a truck with a trailer. She wasn’t nervous about driving a big vehicle. She was more worried about the kids and the roads.

“There were narrow roads at that time – not as wide as they are now. And there were ditches on both sides big enough to hide the bus if you fell in them,” she said.

She started out as a sub in Lakewood and was nervous about that because kids always treated their regular driver better than a sub. “Once I got used to it, it was no problem. I was able to handle the students,” she said.

When she came to Marysville, she knew some of the kids because she wasn’t much older than them. She was just honest with them and showed them respect, and problems were few.

“Plus, we had the support of their parents back then,” she said.

She’s had to handle her share of fights in the past. Early on, one student broke his nose, and “Blood spread all over four seats.”

Henderson first started driving in the Getchell area, but for 35 years has been in the Marshall Elementary area. She said she likes driving and the students because every day is different.

“The kids have their own personalities. I enjoy talking to them,” she said.

She started out just wanting to save money for college, but just stuck with it. The district did help her take three years of courses at Central Washington University in Transportation Management. Henderson said the hours are perfect for her because she had two kids and her husband three who all went to Marysville schools. They got summers off together and winter and spring breaks. As a result, “You get plenty of time with your family.”

She said she was lucky to find a job she liked early in life.

“A lot of people go from job to job until they find the job they want,” she said.

Henderson said students gave her gifts over the years, especially at Christmas.

“I’ve got lots of coffee cups,” she said, and many kid-made tree ornaments, too.

Henderson said she enjoys watching the kids grow up, and every once in awhile she’ll see someone in a store who will say “hi.”

One student came up to her, gave her a big hug and said thank you. He said he’d been in a bad car accident and the only words he heard were hers telling him to “slow down.”

Henderson plans to retire soon. She and her husband, who was a head mechanic at the bus barn, plan to travel to states they haven’t been to yet.

She said the drivers often have breakfasts and lunches together, along with Christmas parties. They have a scholarship fund for their kids to go to college.

“The drivers are like family,” she said.

When the district was smaller, the bus drivers would hang out together.

It’s different now.

“Now many of the drivers have younger kids so we don’t go out as much,” she said.

Steve Powell/Staff Photo
                                Shelly Henderson is retiring after 41 1/2 years as a school bus driver in Marysville.

Steve Powell/Staff Photo Shelly Henderson is retiring after 41 1/2 years as a school bus driver in Marysville.

More in Life

Cecily (Karli Reinbold) falls for the dashing Algernon (Kennan Miller) in Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.” (Courtesy Photo)
It’s important to be Earnest in Wilde’s Victorian satire

MARYSVILLE – Oscar Wilde’s ”The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy… Continue reading

Bennett, Severn of M-P February Students of the Month

MARYSVILLE – Alexis Bennett and T.J. Severn of Marysville-Pilchuck High School are… Continue reading

Krista Longspaugh
Briefly

MARYSVILLE - Marysville Fire District’s first career woman firefighter will retire Friday… Continue reading

Folks check out the Miracle House for homeless families. (Steve Powell/Staff Photo)
Help for homeless families available in Marysville

MARYSVILLE – About 508 students in the Marysville School District were homeless… Continue reading

NWIC students, community show off Native American artwork on quilts in Tulalip

TULALIP – Styles of Native American artwork from across the country are… Continue reading

California scrub jays were spotted near Jennings Park in Marysville.
Record numbers participate, counted in local bird event

A record 152 people participated in the Everett-Marysville Christmas Bird Count, it… Continue reading

Girls build toolboxes during a recent trip to the RAP Center at M-P. (Courtesy Photo)
Local girls take field trip to RAP Center to learn about trades as a possible career

MARYSVILLE – About 32 female high schoolers and 14 professional tradeswomen took… Continue reading

Get tickets for AHS Drama fun musical fairy tale ‘Once Upon a Mattress’ playing in March

ARLINGTON - The Arlington High School drama department will perform the musical… Continue reading

MG wins 31 awards at regional FBLA competition

Marysville Getchell High School’s Future Business Leaders of America 22-member team won… Continue reading

Community briefly

New Lions Club MARYSVILLE – A new Lions Club is starting up… Continue reading

Students of the Month from Legacy High School

MARYSVILLE – Trinity Baron-Soss and Xanth Moen are the January Girl and… Continue reading

‘HopeGate’ artwork to be installed Friday at M-P

MARYSVILLE – A piece of art called “HopeGate” will be unveiled Friday… Continue reading