For students at seven Cheatham County schools, Connie Langley either provide safe transportation or keeps them healthy the rest of the day.
Langley is a nurse for Ashland City Elementary, Cheatham Middle, West Cheatham Elementary and Cheatham County Central High. She also drives a bus for students at Sycamore Middle, Sycamore High and Pleasant View Elementary.
The long-time Cheatham County resident has been driving a school bus for nearly 20 years and nursing for 15 years. She said she started as a bus driver to accommodate her son’s schedule of speech therapy at Vanderbilt University.
Describing herself as a late bloomer, Langley said though she had taken some nursing classes before she began driving the school bus, she didn’t graduate from nursing school until her daughter had graduated from high school. She said she got her RN degree from Tennessee State University.
Langley is one of many Cheatham County Schools employees who also drive a bus for the district.
According to Cheatham County Schools Supervisor of Transportation, Maintenance and Custodial Cal Blacker, of the district’s 50 bus drivers, 23 of them have an additional district position. Those include nurse, bookkeeper, attendance tracker, teachers’ assistants, and teachers.
“I still drive a bus because I have to drive to work anyway, so might as well get paid for it,” Langley said.
A typical day for Langley starts with her on the bus for about an hour starting around 6:25 a.m. She then heads to her first of two schools of the day that receive her nursing care. At 2:35 p.m., she goes back to the bus.
Langley spoke of the joy she experiences by seeing so many kids transition from when they’re little until they graduate high school. Now she has kids on the bus that are the children of kids she’s previously driven to school.
She also discussed the advantage both roles give her in influencing Cheatham County’s youth.
“Being in the school system, it takes a village to get a kid through school. It takes everybody. From the teachers, it takes everybody. I get to be a support to kids who may not have a support system at home. We’re not just nurses. If they feel safe, the kids will talk to us. The kids on the bus will trust you and tell you stuff. They’ll tell me if they’re having a good day or bad,” she said.
“I love my job. They say if you love your job, you never go to work a day in your life. I treat them all like I treat my own kids. I love them all.”