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Sadly, Joan Dankert passed away in January, shortly after her retirement. She is greatly missed by the members of the Transportation Department and the generations of students on Bus #16 who had the pleasure of riding to and from school with Miss Joan.
For 38 years, from late August through early June, Miss Joan’s welcoming smile, holiday treats, and Halloween costumes brightened the days of the young passengers who were lucky enough to be assigned to her bus.
Similar to the way teachers think about their students, she considered the passengers on her bus “her kids” and cared for them like they were her own. The difference was that her classroom was 40-feet long and yellow, her students ranged in age from PK to twelfth grade, and she always sat with her back to the class. Yet, she was always in control. Day in and day out, year after year, she safely transported her students from McDonogh to their Howard County neighborhoods during the rush hours, inclement weather, and unavoidable detours which was a testament to her professionalism and skill as a driver.
Her McDonogh kids weren’t the only ones she doted on. A grandmother of two, she loved to host her grandchildren for “Camp Mom-Mom” and was one of their most faithful fans at their sporting events.
If you knew Miss Joan, you knew that she was an animal lover, too. She not only had many dogs and cats but she also cared for her backyard wildlife and volunteered with Metro Ferals for many years.
A genuine person inside and out, Miss Joan’s kindness will always be remembered.