GLSD bus driver Bethann Larkin is truly an inspiration


Ryan Young, Editor-In-Chief

The snow is falling and the ice is forming on the windy roads as bus drivers are tasked with weathering the storm and delivering the most precious of packages to and from school, but GLSD bus driver Bethann Larkin handles them with a little extra care. The daily selfless acts of Larkin are beyond noteworthy.

Larkin starts her day at 4:00 AM and drives from her home in Ligonier to the bus garage.

“I get up at 4:00 to get ready for school.  I drive in from Ligonier and some days when the weather is bad, I have to leave earlier to get to work on time,” said Larkin.

Every morning Larkin arrives on time. She greets each student as they enter the bus, and she wishes everyone a great day as they depart. The passengers are able to time the arrival of the bus down to the minute, which prevents them from standing in the cold and rain.

“My job is to take care of you guys on the bus, and so I worry about am I on time, am I right on time, because when it is cold or rainy I don’t want you guys standing out there. I worry about that,” said Larkin.  

The level of care and kindness to her passengers was obvious. Larkin cleans the seats and windows of her bus after the elementary students rubbed their faces and noses against the windows and seats. She keeps the bus immaculate and reminds her passengers to pick up after themselves.

“I spray lysol on the bus so you guys don’t get sick. I wipe down the seats with clorox wipes because I care about you,” said Larkin.

Not only does Larkin worry about the spread of germs on her passengers, she also worries about if they have the proper coat and an adequate meal that will sustain them through the day.

“Some of my students are different classes of society and so I worry about do they have backpacks, do they have clothes, is there a way I can get them coats. In Blairsville I used to buy coats and hats and drop them off at the school because I’m not allowed to distribute them on my bus, but then the school could get them to the kids who need them, or when my elementary students are crying because they forgot their lunch box; I’ll either make an arrangement to get the lunch box, call their parents from my cell phone, or give them lunch money. I don’t know if I am allowed to do that, but I care about my kiddos,” said Larkin.

Before Larkin became a dedicated bus driver, she spent many years as an administrative secretary at Latrobe hospital.

“I worked at the Latrobe hospital for 20 years and I was an administrative secretary there. I loved my job but they closed my department down and so I kind of stayed home for a while deciding what to do, and my mom was in a couple of bad car accidents and I needed to be with her so the bus works. I totally like my bus,” said Larkin.

Larkin is able to spend more time with her mother due to the school schedule and time off. She is a woman of a faith and family, and is happy to share her life experiences with anyone she meets.

“ I am most thankful for my family and I am a Christian, so I am thankful for that too. Not everybody believes the same and I don’t whatever— what everyone believes is fine– but I have that spiritual sense and I am thankful for that because otherwise I would be hanging out up there but with no purpose.”

Bethann Larkin is an inspiration. She is truly deserving of our gratitude and thanksgiving this holiday season.