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‘This Is Important, Too’: Retired Virginia FBI Assistant Director Drives School Bus to Help Out with Shortage

A retired Federal Bureau of Investigation executive assistant director is going back into the workforce for a heartwarming reason.

Michael Mason told WTVR that during his time with the federal law enforcement agency, “about half of the FBI fell under me.” He added, “And I was, just for context, I was fourth on the FBI’s food chain.”

However, after 23 years on the force, Mason gave up his badge in 2007 — but he wasn’t quite done with the workforce entirely. Instead, the former director applied to become a school bus driver, a decision he made after learning about the severe shortage of drivers in Chesterfield County, Virginia, while watching the local news recently. 

Retired FBI executive assistant director Michael Mason switches gears after learning about school bus driver shortage. Photo: Screenshot/CBS WTVR Youtube channel.

“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,” Mason told the news outlet. “And I felt like I can be doing something to help in this post-pandemic recovery.”

Mason told reporters that he hopes that anyone hearing his story will be inspired to get involved in their community as well, telling the station, “Doing whatever they can do. I believe if all of us gave a little something, wow, how we could impact this world. How we could change this world.”

Mason detailed his morning routines, telling reporters, “Before we start up the bus each morning, we do what’s called a pre-inspection.” He added, “The thing that we want to primarily assure is that every kid is going to be safe on this bus.”

Despite his years of training and the “important things” he’s accomplished, Mason doesn’t rule out the importance of being a school bus driver. 

“I’m probably one of the few bus drivers who has Turtle Wax in his kit back there, because my hood was so oxidized and I said, ‘Oh no. I can’t do that,’ ” he joked. “So, I am what I am. I’ve done some important things, but guess what? This is important, too,” he added. 

Along with being an FBI executive assistant director, Mason worked as a chief security officer for Verizon from 2008 to 2020 before retiring.

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