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Ms. Brenda Corder Celebrates 50 Years
Ms. Brenda Corder Celebrates 50 Years
Posted on 06/21/2022
Brenda Corder

During the months school is in session, she awakens at 4 a.m. to prepare for her critical job of ensuring students arrive at school and back home safely each day. This has been her routine for the past 50 years, and at their meeting in June, the Bristol Tennessee Board of Education recognized bus driver Brenda Corder for those 50 years of service. Ms. Brenda, as she is affectionately known, was also inducted into Tennessee School Bus Hall of Fame by the Tennessee Association of Pupil Transportation on June 7.

Ms. Brenda was one of only three bus drivers in the state of Tennessee to be inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame class at their annual convention in Pigeon Forge. Her employer, Holston Bus Company, also held a reception for her at Avoca Christian Church. The reception was attended by her family, fellow church members, and many former and current co-workers, students, and parents. She says all the attention has been very overwhelming but a “good surprise.”

Ms. Brenda began her career as a bus driver for Hickory Tree Bus Lines in January 1972. Hickory Tree Bus Lines later became Holston Bus Company, the company who continues to provide student transportation for Bristol Tennessee City Schools.

Ms. Brenda has always driven Bus 2 in the Avoca area for elementary, middle, and high school students. Over the past 50 years, she has driven three generations of families to and from school. While 50 years may seem like a long time, she has no thoughts of retirement yet.

Ms. Brenda is always running into former students and parents and not just while in Bristol. A few years back at a David Crockett vs. Tennessee High football game, a grown man came out of the stands and said, “Oh Ms. Brenda, I’m so glad to see you.” When her daughter Vickie told her who the man was, she remembered him from when he was a small student riding her bus.

Ms. Brenda enjoys being with the kids most and seeing them grow up. She has stayed in the job this long because she loves kids and enjoys what she does each day. Ms. Brenda can quote from memory the times she has had to miss work, and there haven’t been many. “If you have a job, you need to do it to the best of your ability every day.”

“It’s my job to get them to school and home in one piece,” Ms. Brenda said. “They have to sit down and behave. That’s my rule. They may not like it. But as long as I can keep them safe, that’s the most important thing.”

According to Ms. Brenda, one of the best things that ever happened to her as a result of driving a bus was finding her best friend. “There was a boy in second grade,” she said. “His mom brought him to school one morning. He came running to me and said he wanted me to meet his mom. That’s been 42 years ago. His mom and I are still best friends to this day. In fact, my husband and I are going to attend that little boy’s son’s wedding on Saturday.”

Ms. Brenda lives in Bristol with her husband Wayne. They have two children, eight grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

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