Marsha Paugh, a Ripley native, recently passed the county driving exam making her eligible to drive a school bus for the Jackson County school system.

Paugh is the granddaughter of Ella Mae Broscious, the very first woman bus driver in Jackson County.

Even though Paugh said her grandmother wasn’t her initial inspiration for wanting to become a school bus driver, she is excited knowing that she is following in her footsteps.

“She was an amazing lady,” Paugh said.

The main inspiration for wanting to become a school bus driver is the hope that she can make a difference in the lives of Jackson County children.

“The idea of making a difference in a child’s life is very rewarding,” Paugh said. “To be able to be the person who does that would be a tremendous blessing.”

Starting out as a substitute driver, Paugh said she is looking forward to the extra income and possibility of benefits, including summers off, when she gets a full-time position one day.

Paugh knows that going in as a substitute and a woman, that it may prove to be a challenge. She said she does anticipate the students pushing a little harder than they would if a male were driving, but she knows it is something she can handle.

With plans to keep her current job as a dental office assistant for now, she looks forward to what lies ahead and knows that her grandmother would be proud.