Hawks out of class: Ms. Lois


Nanditha Nagavishnu

Lois Brooks drives bus number 90 to park at Rock Hill’s front entrance. “I found my niche in life…I can talk and be friendly with everybody,” Brooks said. Brooks has been a bus driver for about 22 years.

Nanditha Nagavishnu, Staff Writer

Hawks out of class is a Q&A column that features the diverse staff and students at Rock Hill, attempting to show the human behind the Hawk. Lois Brooks is a Prosper ISD bus driver and currently drives bus number 90. She has been in the business for about 22 years, after getting her commercial driver license (CDL) and starting off as a public transit driver in her hometown of Denver.

Hill Top Times: How did you find your way to transit driving?

Lois Brooks: So many things happened. I got fired from a job; my boss told me to go back where I came from, meaning Africa. It was terrible. I had to fight it, but in the meantime I lost my house. It was a mess. That’s when I went and got a job doing transit driving, where you pick up people off the street. As they trained me, I found out that my niche in life was to drive—I can talk and be friendly with everybody. That’s how I got started—I ventured out and did something totally [unexpected].

HTT: What is your best trait?

Brooks: I love giving. Giving is in my spirit. I found out in life the more you give, it comes back to you in all kinds of ways, not that I’m looking for anything. I think that’s a blessing.

HTT: Are children a reason you choose to work for school transportation?

Brooks: I can’t say that, no. But they have such a need for school bus drivers all over the country. I had the CDL and the skill; that’s why I chose this [job].

HTT: Gradually, how did you feel about working with children?

Brooks: If you’re paying attention to your students, you can see something’s going on. I’m usually able to tell when there’s something going on in their home. Just a kind word and you’re able to talk to them and make sure nothing wrong is happening to them. To me, that’s important.

I had some parents who thanked me and gave me a card— parents of one of my second graders. When she got off the bus, there was no one to pick her up. She was walking home, but in front of this one house there was a mound of dirt with workers all around and I couldn’t see her until I got closer. Something in my spirit said, “Make sure she gets to her door.” I just stopped the bus and watched her get into her house. That’s my fulfillment, to make sure my students are safe.

Sometimes [kids] get on my nerves, but I do like them.

HTT: What is a personal goal you have?

Brooks: Well, I’m 75 years old, I’ve been retired. My goals? I’d like to travel. That’s a goal I need to save money towards. I wish I’d done more when I was younger, but I’m not dead yet. That’s another reason I chose driving school buses because we’re off during the summer and breaks give me the opportunity if I decide to go somewhere.

HTT: What’s your favorite destination, or somewhere you want to go?

Brooks: I’ve always wanted to go to England— dreary, cloudy. I want to go abroad, somewhere in Europe. I want to get on that train they talk about that goes so fast. I want to get on that and go through all of the countries it goes through.

HTT: What do you do in your free time?

Brooks: I used to be in the senior bowling league. I thought about being a pro bowler at one time but it just didn’t pan out with my family. I was a seamstress. I did bridal wear and made coats, things like that. My first job in life was at a sweatshop. Now, I sew things for my grandkids and great grandkids and play around with embroidery.

HTT: What’s your favorite food?

Brooks: I love Belgian waffles. There’s a lot of vanilla and cinnamon in them. That’s my favorite spice, cinnamon.

HTT: How do you unwind?

Brooks: I listen to music—jazz or gospel. My favorite gospel singer is Kirk Franklin. In jazz, Tim Bowman. He’s a good jazz artist and he plays the guitar; I love him.