The face behind the wheel of Bus #6
April 6, 2023
Sunglasses on and music playing, every morning our bus driver Lillian Gianotti greets us with an enthusiastic “Good morning!” as the scent of her cinnamon coffee fills the air. When she picks us up in the afternoon, she’s waiting in her usual spot, greeting us once again.
“I have been driving kids since my son was in high school, so thirty-four years, I’m like one of the originals,” said Gianotti.
When she’s not behind the wheel, she’s either at the gym, riding horses, or playing on her senior olympic softball team. She wanted to expand her high school softball career into something she could also do during her free time. Gianotti also used to coach softball until she stopped a few years ago.
Softball has always been a part of Gianotti’s life. “I played softball as a kid; I actually played baseball with my brother.” In 2011, Gionatti and her close friend founded the women’s fifty years and older softball team for the senior olympic tournaments. “When I came back up here from Florida, I rode horses for people, and I get back up here and they begged me to play softball,” she said.
The team has traveled to Ohio, Minnesota, Alabama, New Mexico, and are hoping to compete in Columbus this spring. Gionatti explained that the senior olympics includes a variety of sports— such as golf, bowling, and track and field.
Gianotti brings an energy to our bus that not a lot of students are lucky enough to have experienced. She gives hours of her time to drive students around, and always ensures it’s a positive experience for everyone (also having someone drive you around all month wearing a Santa hat during Christmas radiates good energy). Before we even really knew her, we knew we should treat her to a Dunkin’ gift card during the holidays.
On the way to school and sports games, she plays the trendiest songs on the radio. Normally, teenagers put in their airpods and block everyone out, but Gianotti makes sure none of us want to do that.
“I turn on 104 or 106, and when you’re not here I’m listening to 770, but I can’t listen to that when you guys are here.”
Channel 770 is what we all would expect it to be, all the hits from the old days, from Billy Joel to Frank Sinatra. She says that she knows from experience that we wouldn’t enjoy it, so instead, every time we step on the bus, we know almost every song.
Thankfully, everyday we can look forward to the ride on bus number six to brighten up an exhausting day.