It is not every day you have a family of three generations working in the same district, let alone the same department. Winton Woods bus driver Charles Chapman and his family are doing just that. In 2012, he began working for the district as the high school’s tennis coach where his granddaughter also played as a freshman. It was not until 2015, when Transportation Supervisor Kristi Hooper was looking for more drivers and hired him. “I would drive in the mornings and coach tennis in the afternoon.” Prior to his Winton Woods years, Charles had been a professional driver for over two decades. After retiring, he knew driving was the one thing he could see himself doing again.
In 2018, his grandson DeQuan Chapman became a bus driver as well. Charles spoke highly of him, admitting he was a better driver than himself. “He is awesome. That is how I feel, and I am so proud of him.” His oldest daughters started at the beginning of the 2019 school year. “Tonya was already licensed, and I knew it would not be long before Sonya joined as well. Tonya and Sonya are so close. When you bring one, you gotta bring the other,” he chuckled.
Charles has been a resident of the Forest Park community since the late seventies. When asked what his favorite thing about being a Winton Woods bus driver he said, “the fist pumps I give to the Primary North and South students in the morning. If I forget when they are getting on and off the bus, you should see them. You turn around and they are standing there looking at you with their fist out waiting for you to give them a fist pump back. It is great.” When asked what advice he would give to students he said, “Step outside of the box and do not be afraid to try something. You can never succeed if you do not fail. You have to go through stuff to get to where you need to be.”