News, Culture & Society

Retired FBI boss, 63, takes on a new career as a school BUS DRIVER

A US Marine veteran who spent years working as one of the FBI’s highest-ranked officials has found a new career as a school bus driver. 

Mike Mason, 63, was getting a bit bored in retirement and was on the lookout for something new to do with his time when he leared that Chesterfield County Public School District in Virginia was short 125 drivers.

So Mason — who was once the number four official in the FBI and later an executive at a Fortune 500 company — sent in his résumé.

Now he spends weekedays driving nine students to a school for kids with autism, and he insists his job is just as important as the ones he’s held before.

A US Marine veteran who spent years working as one of the FBI’s highest-ranked officials has found a new career as a school bus driver

Mike Mason, 63, was the executive assistant director of the FBI, overseeing all criminal investigations. After 23 years, he left the FBI in 2007

Mike Mason, 63, was the executive assistant director of the FBI, overseeing all criminal investigations. After 23 years, he left the FBI in 2007

Mason, who lives in Midlothian, Virginia, started his career as a captain in the Marines after graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University.

He went on to become the executive assistant director of the FBI, overseeing all criminal investigations. 

‘For context, probably half of the FBI’s operational resources fell under me,’ he told the Washington Post, describing himself as ‘fourth on the FBI’s food chain.’

‘I went from being a brand-new agent working on a variety of criminal cases, to being a supervisor, and then moving up through the ranks,’ he said. ‘I remain one of the four most senior African Americans in the FBI’s history, and I’m very proud of that.’

After 23 years, he left the FBI in 2007 and went on to work for Verizon as chief security officer until he retired in December 2020.

Mason, who lives in Midlothian, Virginia, started his career as a captain in the Marines after graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University

He went on to work for Verizon as chief security officer until he retired in December 2020

Mason, who lives in Midlothian, Virginia, started his career as a captain in the Marines after graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University

He was getting bored in retirement when he leared that Chesterfield County Public School District in Virginia was short 125 drivers

He was getting bored in retirement when he leared that Chesterfield County Public School District in Virginia was short 125 drivers

'I still had a mind and I still had things I was capable of doing,' he said

‘I still had a mind and I still had things I was capable of doing,’ he said

But without a job, Mason grew restless.

‘I still had a mind and I still had things I was capable of doing,’ he told CBS News. 

‘When the pandemic struck there were so many people that were doing so many extra things. People like you who still have to get out here. People like grocery store workers. People like telecommunications workers. All kinds of folks who still had to do their job,’ he added to WTVR.

‘And I felt like I can be doing something to help in this post-pandemic recovery.’

When he learned that a local school district was so short on bus drivers, he sent in an application. He has two sons of his own, and he’d always wanted to work with kids.

‘When I gave them my résumé, I actually got called by a very senior person in the county and he said, “Just checking, why do you want to be a bus driver?” And I told him,’ Mason said. 

In April, he was hired. Every morning, he inspects his bus at 5:30 a.m. to make sure it’s safe before heading out on the road to pick up the nine students he takes to the Faison Center in Richmond.

Every morning, he inspects his bus at 5:30 a.m. to make sure it's safe before heading out on the road to pick up the nine students he takes to the Faison Center in Richmond

Every morning, he inspects his bus at 5:30 a.m. to make sure it’s safe before heading out on the road to pick up the nine students he takes to the Faison Center in Richmond

'I feel the same sense of duty,' he said. 'This is not hyperbole: I’m smiling every day I start that bus up'

‘I feel the same sense of duty,’ he said. ‘This is not hyperbole: I’m smiling every day I start that bus up’

‘I feel the same sense of duty,’ he said. ‘This is not hyperbole: I’m smiling every day I start that bus up.’

‘I’ve done some important things, but guess what? This is important, too,’ he added. 

‘I think in our society we need to get next to the idea that there are no unimportant jobs. I mean, what could be more important than the attention we pay to our education system?’

Mason admitted that some days are ‘a cacophony of noise and chaos, and I can’t wait to turn the bus off,’ but ‘I never leave angry. It’s another day, and another chance to try again.’

Pay for bus drivers in the district is $20.21 per hour, with bonuses of up to $3,000 this school year. Mason has already donated the entirety of what he expects to hear this year to charities.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk