TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – A local bus driver is celebrating her 50th year getting kids to and from school, safely.

Judy Haskell started driving for Lost Creek Elementary School five decades ago, but she said she never had any plans of making a career out of this.

“My neighbor was a bus driver and she kept saying ‘You need to drive, you need to drive.’ and I kept saying ‘no’ and one day I wound up at the bus garage and I’ve been here ever since,” Haskell said.

Haskell said over the years, generations of families have come and gone on her route.

A few kids that she once drove grew up, got married, and even moved into the house across the street from hers.

“A few years later my husband passed away and they’ve kind of adopted me as a grandparent and I’ve hauled some of their children. It just thrills my heart to get to see how they’ve all grown up and developed,” Haskell said.

Sara McCoy is one of Haskell’s former riders who is now “all grown up”.

She’s found herself right back where Haskell would drop her off every morning: teaching second grade at Lost Creek Elementary School.

“She was amazing. Always had a smile, always cared about me, always asked me questions. You know, just very caring,” McCoy said.

McCoy said it really goes to show that you always end up right where you’re supposed to be.

“I think this picture says it all because this is how she greeted me when I came back to Lost Creek, seeing her for the first time and this is what I was used to the last day of school, the first day of school, those holidays. It’s just her,” McCoy said.

Moments like that captured in the picture are what kept Haskell driving all these years.

Picture of young Sara McCoy and Judy Haskell as her bus driver. (Photo Courtesy to Sara Haskell)

McCoy is now teaching second grade in the same classroom where she was taught in second grade.

She said it is great to see how everything has come full circle.