RANCHO CORDOVA -- She was born Elizabeth Rose Summers but school kids affectionately call her Ms. Betty.
At 78 years old, Summers just started her 44th year as a bus driver for the Folsom Cordova Unified School District.
Despite her petite stature, she skillfully navigates a 40-foot bus, safely transporting her middle school students each day.
But this wasn't the career she had planned on initially.
"I wanted to be a teacher," Summers said. "But we had five children in the family and one brother and he was the one that got to go to college."
Ms. Betty eventually married a serviceman. They had three children and lived in places around the world.
But once she and her family moved back to the states she said she wanted to be a bus driver. She knew that whatever interactions she shared with the kids she'd be able to impart her own way of teaching.
"I say, 'Good morning. Thank you.' And then they sit down. When they get off I say, 'Have a good day,'" Summers said.
Students appreciate her support.
"You can be whatever you want. You've got to put your mind to it and do your grades," Summers said.
Among her notable students is NBC's Lester Holt.
"I haven't seen him since he graduated but he's doing very well," she said.
She says it's the kids' happy faces that get her out of bed each and every early morning.
"I look at it like that at least I know that I'm doing the best that I can do," Summers said.