06/04/13 When Loretta Tener turned in her school bus keys on May 31, it marked the end of some 40 years of driving for the Plymouth Schools. Tener began driving in either 1973 or1974…she can’t remember which year…after being a playground supervisor and matron at West School. Tener said she was approached by Stan Nicholas and asked if she wanted to drive a bus and her bus career began.
For the last several years, Tener has been driving 43.8 miles per day on a route that begins at 6:55. However, to make sure that her bus is ready to travel, Tener has had to be up by 5:10-5:20 AM every school day.
Plymouth Schools Director of Transportation, Rick Scott, said he first met Tener when he came on the job in 1980. Scott said, “She is very reliable, has a good heart and a good attitude every day.” He added, “I can count on my fingers how many times she has called off.” Scott said Tener has offered to ride with a new bus driver on the first day of school in the fall to make sure things go smoothly.
Tener said, “I kind of feel like I’m letting the kids down by retiring. Over the years, I have attended open houses and graduations of my “kids”. They are a part of my “big family”.” She said, “I have a third generation family riding my bus now.” A number of the students riding her bus call her grandma. She said, “It’s really a sign of respect.”
Plans for the future involve just relaxing and enjoying life, according to Tener. She said she will find plenty to do, including spending time with her seven great-grandchildren.
But just in case she’s needed, Tener said she will keep up her CDL license.
Carol Anders Correspondent