The ever-popular bus driver Jim Manion retires his wheels

Staff Reporter

Barry’s Bay- The decision to retire is an important one that impacts not only the life of the person retiring, but also the lives of their family members, friends and co-workers. Jim Manion’s decision to retire will also impact the lives of many local students who cherish him as a popular bus driver and as a champion of their sports and extracurricular activities.

When news of Manion’s retirement began to circulate, accolades and well wishes for his happy retirement began pouring in. Some of those comments have been captured here, and still more will be collected in a memory book being prepared by Manion’s family.

Jim’s daughter Kelli said, “…because we are unable to have a proper celebration due to Covid protocols, my sisters and I are putting together a memory book for my Dad. The number of people that have already reached out is incredible: past students, colleagues, parents, and community members.”

One of the people who had high praise for Manion and his contribution to the life of students and teachers was Germaine Parcher, a retired high school teacher and former athletic director at MVDHS.

Parcher worked very closely with Manion for many years on sports trips. She also went to high school with him in Barry’s Bay, as she says, “many moons ago.” She remembered him as an athlete in high school, and commented that his own athleticism influenced how he interacted with the students he would drive to various sporting events. He often had a sound bit of coaching advice to help develop students and their contributions to a team.

His own experience as an athlete gave him a keen eye for where small improvements to a student’s game could yield big results. His very specific and helpful advice was offered in a way that made it well received by both students and coaches alike. Students routinely thank him for
providing it.

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