Traveling Through Time

Traveling Through Time

Hello Fairfax County Public Schools.
We’re not in a school today but we’re actually at the Lorton Transportation
Center here in Fairfax County right by 95 and we’re with Dereke Tapscott. How
are you doing everybody? Dereke is a 2002 Herndon student who I knew when I was an administrator there in Herndon. And we’re gonna to talk a little bit. We’ve talked
and kicked off the year talking about the power of why. Why we do what we do
and I really wanted to come here today and talk a little bit about your why.
Dereke, tell me a little bit about why you’re here in Fairfax County Public
Schools. I graduated 2002 and started driving the bus and by 2003. All because my great-grandmother, my mother and my aunt all drove. Really? That kind of pushed us all
out here. You still have the IDS from that. Yes sir. This was your. My great
grandmother. Your great-grandmother? Yes. 1971. Drove a bus for Fairfax County. Yes, for 30 years. Oh my god. And then? This is my grand aunt, which is her daughter. Oh my gosh. She drove for 30 years. She was the first African-American route supervisor. Wow. And then my mother drove for 20 years
before she passed away in 2005. I’m sorry for your loss.
Thank you. So your whole family has been involved in FCPS transportation over the
generations. Yes sir. And we’ve all been here before
the one ahead of us retired. What makes you, you’ve now been at it how many years? About 16 years now. What makes you want to continue that family legacy? My office
moves. It’s out in the open. And seeing children every day. Now, Dereke. You know you were
a student in Fairfax and now you’re driving other students. One of the things
we talked about in the theory of action for our support employees as a welcoming
and culturally responsive environment, high-performing teams and also
operational excellence. But I want to talk about a welcoming culturally
responsive environment. How do you make this bus a home for these kids that you
drive every day? Well you know driving the bus now and just driving we also
mothers, fathers, counselors, anything that the kids need because we’re the first one they
see every morning. So, the good morning really helps a lot of them. They look forward to seeing it. What has been the most exciting thing that you’ve experienced
as being a bus driver here in Fairfax County? Seeing kids. Cuz, I’ve been doing it long enough now to have a kindergarten come back that’s
graduating from college. So now you like, uh. My gosh. You mean like a
superintendent comes back and sees a student who’s now been a 16 year
employee for the system? Now, can you show me your bus? Show me your home away from home. We’ve talked a lot about equity in Fairfax County and the power
of really having an equity lens on all that we do. As you look back at your
family, what’s the equity lens that we need to recognize with your family and
all they did for Fairfax County and transportation? And so maybe the
challenges that they faced. You know over the years a lot of things have changed for the good. My aunt who could only drive african-american students ended up being a route supervisor by the time she left here. Your aunt could only drive african-american students
when she started? Yes. Luther Jackson was the only high school for
african-american students at that time. Wow. But by the time she retired, she
ended up being a route supervisor. Wow. So, she got promoted through a system that really had put up a barrier. Yes. For employees to be a part of, really we
talked about accessing opportunity gaps it was really an access and opportunity
gap for employees and frankly for kids. Your great grandmother did she ever tell
you stories about her early history here in Fairfax? She had passed before I was
born, but I can remember my aunt saying you know they dealt with a
lot to us back then because she started driving in the 50s. Wow. It was just a whole different school system at that time. And they always got, you know, buses that
were retired from the other students. They never got new ones they always got, they said they had holes in the floor and all that kinda stuff like that. But then. You
know have you ever thought about the power of, we’re trying to connect with
students in every classroom, but frankly we’re trying to connect with students
everywhere. In a classroom, on a school bus, in the cafeteria. How have you been
able to take a personal connection and maybe connect with the kid that’s not
being connected with in other parts of the system? Well you have to take the
time to really read the child and get to learn what makes them click
when you do that they actually look forward to talking to you then if you
actually make eye contact. But do you have time to do that as a bus driver? And
should a bus driver just be focused more on driving the bus and not connecting
with kids? What’s, what’s the answer to that? About we don’t have time to do that?
We have the time. I mean these runs are not that long but any encouragement
talking to them helps so just that little bit if it’s five minutes helps them.
Well, Derek you’ve been an amazing role model for kids and for other
Fairfax County public school employees and I want to thank you and your family
for the legacy of excellence they have given Fairfax County. Thank you so thank
you so much. So I’m with Dereke and I’m with Francine Furby, our director of
transportation and now I’m going to get the fun to experience what our bus
drivers have to do every day. You gently let your foot off the brake Dr. Brabrand. Okay there we go. Alright. Oh my goodness. You really
gotta know what you’re doing here. Wow. Okay, that’s enough driving for me today!
Bye-bye Fairfax County Schools.

One thought on “Traveling Through Time”

  • Thank you for this video. WOW. His great-grandmother drove starting in the 1950's. Hats off to the whole family of Dereke Tapscott.

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