Three generations of school bus drivers in Vermilion Parish
Aug 07, 2013 | 2128 views | 0 0 comments | 74 74 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left to right, granddaughter Emilie Hebert Lawkin,   mother Laura Hebert and daughter Juanita Hebert team up to wash one of three school buses.
From left to right, granddaughter Emilie Hebert Lawkin, mother Laura Hebert and daughter Juanita Hebert team up to wash one of three school buses.
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In the photo are Laura Hebert (right), who is the mother of Juanita (middle) and grandmother of Emilie Lawkin (left).
In the photo are Laura Hebert (right), who is the mother of Juanita (middle) and grandmother of Emilie Lawkin (left).
slideshow
To have a mother, daughter and granddaughter driving Vermilion Parish school buses at the same time may be a first for the parish.

When public school begins Monday, Laura Hebert, a bus driver since 1983, will begin her 30th year as a bus driver for the parish. She has a special ed bus route in Abbeville.

Her daughter, Juanita Hebert, 55, will be starting her sixth year as a full-time school bus driver. Her route is south of Erath.

Juanita’s daughter, 35-year-old Emilie Hebert Lawkin, is the bus driver in the Erath area.

“I am very proud of them,” Laura said about her daughter and granddaughter.

In the next couple of months, there is expected to be another family member driving a bus part-time. Laura’s son’s daughter, Katina Hebert, is in the process of becoming a certified bus driver.

This week the ladies were helping each other out by washing and cleaning the inside and outside of their busses.

“I enjoy being a bus driver because I am home at the same time as my children,” said Lawkin. “We get to have the summer off, also at the same time as the children. I feel being a bus driver is a great job for a mother or a person who looking for a second job.”

Their normal work hours five days a week are 6 a.m. to 8 a.m and the same afternoon from 1:45 p.m. to around 4:20 p.m

“I also like the hours, but I enjoy the children,” Juanita said.

Neither Emilie or Juanita would have become a bus driver without the help of Laura. When it came to studying for one of the four bus driving tests and the CDL license test, Laura was there to help them. She helped them learn every part of the bus, which included learning mechanic parts for under the hood and under the bus.

With bus drivers having to learn many mechanical parts of the bus and then name them on sight during an oral test, Laura created a book with pictures and labels of the mechanical parts to help future bus drivers study. She first created one book for her family members to study.

Don’t look for Laura to retire anytime soon, she said. As long as she is still enjoying driving a bus, she will continue. Since 1983, she has driven four different buses, A-1, A-17, M-62 and now M-75. She has also seen many changes in the bus industry. One of her favorite changes is the addition of video cameras on buses. She said that helps protect the bus driver who is being accused of wrongdoing from a parent or child.

Laura said she likes all of the new rules and regulations that bus drivers have to follow.

Over 30 years, she has worked with many different head of transportation supervisors, including three over the last eight years. She said he likes Ken Small, who is the present transportation supervisor for the school board.

All three ladies are anxious to get back to work after having most of the summer off.

“I’m ready because it is getting tedious at home,” said Emilie.

Juanita added, “It’s nice to have the summer off, but I am ready to go back to work.”

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