Everyone public school educator who has ever arranged a field trip in Bulloch County has met Susie Beasley. Beasley has been involved in every facet of transportation for Bulloch’s public school students since she came to work more than 25 years ago.
Beasley is a native of Emanuel County, having been raised on a farm close to the Burke County line. Her mother, Ruby Lanier Oglesby, still lives there today. She attended the old Summertown School, until she moved on to Swainsboro High School.
After graduating there in 1959, she went to work at the now-closed Jockey Plant in Millen. Like most of the youngsters in the area, she loved going to the Record Hop at the old Bell Auditorium on the weekends. It was there she met Mr. Beasley.
It turns out that Joe came up and asked if she was someone else. Although she wasn’t the girl who Joe said he was looking for, they talked, danced, and then began dating. It turns out Joe, who had graduated from Statesboro High School in 1958, lived in Statesboro.
That meant he had a 45-mile drive each way to see Susie, but they dated steadily for over a year. Eventually, they got married and moved into an apartment on South College Street in Statesboro. On this coming June 8, they will celebrate 47 years of marriage.
Joe and Susie Beasley have three children, Gina Deal, Marty Beasley and Chad Beasley and seven grandchildren –Branigan, Bailey, Marley, Makayla, Jeffery, Blakel, and Cole.
Joe Beasley had driven a school bus during his last year in high school, even winning a safety award that year.
So, after their children were old enough, he suggested Susie Beasley try driving a bus. Cathy Dixon, then superintendent at the Bulloch County Bus Garage, hired her as a substitute driver. After driving all over the county for the first six months, she was given a regular route driving children to Statesboro High School and William James.
After the county was divided into new zones, Beasley was given a route at Julia P. Bryant for the next 10 years. While there, Dixon made her the safety trainer, meaning that she taught children bus safety at the school as well as driving, and then lead driver for all J.P.B. drivers.
Once Dixon retired, she said she was asked by assistant superintendent Charles Wilson to take over the bus operations for Bulloch County. Shortly thereafter, she began taking care of all field trip scheduling for the county’s public school busses.
Beasley now is in charge of all field trip planning and scheduling. Currently, she has 103 field trips planned for the month of March alone. Beasley said that since purchasing a computer program called STEMS it has been much easier for teachers, administrators and bus drivers to coordinate the planning and execution of field trips.
But come April 1, Beasley said she will retire.