School bus driver Terry Mansfield often parks her bus on a side street in Plymouth Valley during the layover between taking students to one of the private schools and beginning her route for Plymouth Elementary School. On a recent December morning, Ms. Mansfield was waiting when she saw something that didn't seem right — an older woman outside in her robe and slippers.
"It's cold out. She came over to the bus and sounded so confused," said Ms. Mansfield. "I was so worried."
Ms. Mansfield got off the bus and chatted with the woman. Through the conversation, she figured out where the woman lived and walked her home. Finding no one there, Mrs. Mansfield called the police so the woman wouldn't be left alone. Then she returned to the bus to start her Plymouth Elementary run.
"I feel a part of the community," she added. "I let people out who are backing out of their driveways. I leave a little extra room next to people walking their dogs. I have their kids on this bus — and I had their kids who are now in college. We're all in this together."
A donation came to the Colonial School District Education Foundation in honor of "whomever the school bus driver was on 12/12/17 that picked up my grandmother (who has dementia) and took her home safely." That note started the search that uncovered Mansfield's good deed.
"Our bus drivers know when something is out of the ordinary on their routes, and it's great that Terry was able to help. She's been a driver of ours for a while, and she's always been just a really great person. I'm not surprised at all that she saw a need and took the time to make things right," said Kathy Ellis, Director of Transportation for the Colonial School District. "Her actions speak to how nice our drivers are. They care about our kids, and they care about our community."