Credit reel

Krisha Kapoor ‘23 takes a moment to appreciate the people who work behind the scenes at West after her conversation with bus driver LaShaun Lacy.

LaShaun+Lacy+sits+in+bus+number+5110.+Driving+special+education+students+on+this+bus+is+one+of+his+jobs.+He+also+works+as+a+correctional+officer.+

Krisha Kapoor

LaShaun Lacy sits in bus number 5110. Driving special education students on this bus is one of his jobs. He also works as a correctional officer.

After every great movie, there is a credit reel for all the people behind the scenes. Almost always you’ll find yourself getting up and leaving before the screen gets past the actors. Do you ever actually wonder who wrote that song, or who made that sound effect? As humans, we are busy and tend to get caught up in our own lives. We rarely ever take a step back to appreciate the small things that people are doing to make our community a better place. 

If West High were a movie, we would have our phenomenal athletes and  star students in leading roles. Although overlooked, behind these scenes of success, is a whole crew of people that deserve credits. One of which is LaShaun Lacy. 

One gloomy morning, I was walking into school, feeling a little more tired than usual. As I was about to walk in, I heard an outburst of laughter and happiness. I turned around and to my luck, I saw the bright smile of LaShaun Lacy, bus driver for special needs students. Little did I know, behind that smile is years of resilience and hard work. Lacy works day and night to support his family, all while putting a smile on students’ faces. To me, he embodies what the culture of West should be — a place of happiness, love, and hard work.  

Behind that smile is years of resilience and hard work.”

— Krisha Kapoor '23

At a very young age, Lacy learned not to take things for granted and to enjoy the people he surrounded himself with. He was born on the south side of Chicago to his mother and father. At the age of five, his parents had split and by eighth grade, he had lost his sister. By the age of 17, he had his first child, and married at 18. This mixture of love and pain associated with his family is what inspires Lacy today. 

“My family motivates me, I do everything to give my family what my mother couldn’t give me,” Lacy said.

He supports his family by working two jobs. His day starts at 8 a.m. when he runs his bus route, then he sleeps from around 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.. From there he wakes up and runs his afternoon bus routes until 5 p.m. Lacy gets home to cook for his family and he is soon off to his night job. Lacy works as a correctional officer at the prison from 10 p.m. until  6 a.m., and then the cycle continues. Running on minimal sleep, it amazes me to see how positive Lacy remains and motivated to do work every day. Sleep deprivation redefined, am I right?

My family motivates me, I do everything to give my family what my mother couldn’t give me.”

— LaShaun Lacy

Although the jobs of bus driver and correctional officer might seem like polar opposites, Lacy enjoys both and has learned a lot from his experience. Through all the sleepless nights he has learned to become open to learning about people and creating connections with those who care. Lacy enjoys being a bus driver because he gets to make kids smile and laugh everyday. He takes well-deserved pride in his ability to make one of the worst parts of school the best. On the other hand, being a correctional officer provides its own challenges. Lacy has had to accept the fact that officers can be wrong and poorly judge individuals. He has learned that there are some good people in prison that did things to provide for their family and just made bad decisions. He feels like he has developed a new sense of maturity and boldness. Lacy’s work ethic and open mindset goes to show that you can learn something from any situation. 

Almost every day since that morning I wave at Lacy and receive a wave back. I constantly see the kids on his bus leaving with joy on their faces. He spreads his light no matter where he goes. By taking a dive into Lacy’s life and learning about his perspective I realized that so many people have stories to tell and everyone’s life is different. Sometimes we just have to take the time to look at the credits.