Lebanon Special School District transportation director Richard Anderson retired on Oct. 31 after 30 years in the education field.
He retired because of health reasons but reflected on his education career with simple pride.
“I’m a simple man,” he said.
Geoff Atchley has replaced Anderson. Atchley is a former teacher and coach at both Lebanon High School and Walter J. Baird Middle School. Most recently, he was the LSSD Alternative School Program director.
Anderson started his career in 1990 at LHS, where he taught earth science and biology. At the same time, he coached football and wrestling. In 1995, he went to Smith County as a football coach.
He stayed four years, but eventually took a step back because of personal issues.
“I wanted to step back and just take a job as a position coach (in football),” he said, noting that he returned to LHS for the 1998-99 school year. He stayed there through the 1999-2000 school year.
He returned to Smith County as the principal at Union Heights Elementary School and stayed there until the 2012-2013 school year.
He decided to return to Wilson County and took the transportation director position with the Lebanon Special School District.
“I’ve known (LSSD Director Scott Benson) for many years and have a lot of confidence and respect for him,” Anderson said. “I was at a conference and told (Benson) that if he ever had anything in transportation, I’d be interested in the position. Mr. Benson called me when (former transportation director) Pat Hughes retired. It was the right thing to do at that time.”
Just because he’s retired from the LSSD doesn’t mean he’s just going to sit around.
“I’ll find something else,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to go back and farm, if my health if good enough. I told my wife, if I can’t do that, then I’ll definitely do something else.”
Anderson said he has always “been blessed with different skills. I was a mechanic, which made (the transportation director job) perfect. I understood the mechanical side of it, engine parts and fleet maintenance.”
In addition to the transportation job, he worked as “director of operations, spending a lot of time writing specs for (bids for) things life roofs. We put a lot of roofs on buildings during my time there. I’ve also done a lot of maintenance. I would overhaul things and write bids and meet with contractors.”
Anderson said that he “enjoyed what I’ve done. There’s not a better place to work than Lebanon. Whether it’s the Wilson County Schools of the LSSD. Of course, I’m partial to LSSD because I’ve known Mr. Benson and I appreciate what he stands for.”
Anderson said that he knew when he became an educator that he wasn’t going to get rich.
“You just have to love it and love what you do,” he said.
Benson said that Anderson has been an important part of the LSSD and he will be missed.
“We appreciate his service and wish him well in the future,” Benson said.