The morning of Wednesday, May 23 was an emotional time at Marshall County School System's School Bus Garage. For beginning at 8:30 in the confines of the building, awards were presented, a beloved bus driver was remembered, and a longtime friend and employee retired.
The annual event began with Supervisor of Transportation Johnny Flynt remembering "one of the best drivers ever to be in Marshall County." Bus driver Kathie Beard was hired in September of 1978 and was a dedicated employee from that point on. In December of 2006, Mrs. Beard passed away, leaving a void in both her family at home and her family at the school bus garage. During the May 23 program, Flynt presented Kathie's family with a plaque honoring her service to the Marshall County School System.
Following the plaque presentation, Flynt went on to recognize bus drivers who are retiring, those who switched routes at a moment's notice, and introduced state bus inspectors Neil Cole and Norma Frady. With the assistance of Cole, Director of Schools John D. Pierce, Assistant Director of Schools Roy Dukes, and bus garage employees Glenn Ezell and Beth Isley, the safety awards were presented. Safety awards go to drivers who did not have a chargeable accident during the school year. Receiving awards were:
One year -- Curt Denton, Teresa Milam, Nancy Hamilton, Rick Lee;
Two years -- Bobby Hurt, Chuck Brown, Sharon Spitzley, Toby Wilson, Donna Wright, Josh Hinerman;
Three years -- Don Crabtree, Larry Fox, Sandra Kelley, Jennifer Morrow, Danny Redd;
Four years -- Tommy Liggett, Bill Preston, James Landrum;
Five years -- June Dickson, Donna Fields, Julie Shonk;
Six years -- Johnny Flynt, Jr., Della Jolley, Ann Norwood, Johnny Perryman, Kenneth Walker;
Seven years -- Billy Cook, Billy Harwell, Harold Noller, Tammy Poarch;
Eight years -- Wanda Hargrove, Roger Street;
Nine years -- Earl Harris;
Twelve years -- Marianne Whitley;
Fourteen years -- Wayne Whitsett;
Sixteen years -- Barbara McMillion;
Twenty years -- Virginia Joyce, James Liggett;
Twenty-one years -- Phil Blackwell, Sis Osborne, Carol Wakefield.
Others honored included: Sub Drivers -- Dwayne Cheeves, David Shetler, Wayne Edwards, John Eatherly, Jo Turley, Pat Sawyer; Assistants -- Helen Davis, Kay Perryman, Lydle Hargrove, Mildred Lowe, Rae Taylor; Sub Assistants -- Crystal Bowers, Tamara Dooley; Shop -- Melvin Ewing, Glenn Ezell, Chris Flynt, Randy Lowe, Beth Isley; Perfect Attendance -- Jennifer Angel, Billy Cook, Don Crabtree, Helen Davis, Debbie Freeman, Josh Hinerman, Bobby Hurt, Virginia Joyce, James Liggett, Danny Redd, Rae Taylor, Kenneth Walker, Toby Wilson, Donna Wright.
The moment arrived that everyone in the school system had been hearing about, and dreading, the entire 2006-07 school year: the retirement of Supervisor of Transportation Johnny Flynt.
After 32 years and 11 months of service, Flynt turned in his retirement letter to Director of Schools Pierce during the morning awards program. Each had words of praise for the other before gifts were bestowed on the retiring Flynt; Martha Flynt was also on hand to see her husband honored.
Flynt told the drivers he would be stopping by from time to time, and he would always be available to give advice to the next Supervisor of Transportation.