Bus Driver of the Year hon­ored

The Advance of Bucks County - - YARDLEY-MORRISVILLE AREA - By Pe­tra Ch­es­ner Sch­lat­ter

PEkkSBURY – Bus driv­ers packed the Sept. 13 meet­ing of the Penns­bury School Board to honor De­bra Roche for be­ing named School Bus Driver of the Year for 2011-12.

A stand­ing ova­tion greeted Roche, who has served nearly four decades as a dis­trict school bus driver and is the wife of Capt. Tom Roche of the Lower Makefield Po­lice Depart­ment. He ac­com­pa­nied her to the meet­ing.

“I re­ally en­joy my job,” Roche said. “I come to work ev­ery day look­ing for­ward to see­ing my students and my aide (Diane Tom­lin­son).”

School board pres­i­dent Al­lan Weisel thanked Roche for her “37-year com­mit­ment. That is one heck of a com­mit­ment…

“More im­por­tantly,” he con­tin­ued, “thank you for your com­pas­sion and giv­ing of your­self to chil­dren and mak­ing their jour­ney to and from school a lot eas­ier.

“crom the board I want to say thank you very much,” Weisel said.

Char­lie Wil­liams, di­rec­tor of trans­porta­tion for the dis­trict, said Roche “started back in the day when buses had stan­dard shifts -- no power brakes -- no power steer­ing. There was no two-way ra­dio to call some­one if you had a prob­lem and you had to put on your own tire chains if it was go­ing to snow.”

Wil­liams said that Roche “per­se­vered through all of that and all the things that came dur­ing that time.”

Roche has trans­ported lit­er­ally thou­sands of Penns­bury chil­dren to and from school safely dur­ing her tenue.

cor 10 of her 37 years be­hind the wheel, Roche has driven students in the spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram to and from school.

“This seg­ment of the Penns­bury pop­u­la­tion can present a wide ar­ray of chal­lenges and it takes a spe­cial com­bi­na­tion of pa­tience and un­der­stand­ing to gain their trust,” Wil­liams said.

Roche said, “If you’ve done some­thing in these peo­ple’s lives, it’s some­thing you can take with you.”

Driv­ing a school bus is a fam­ily tradition for Roche. Both of her par­ents were long­time Penns­bury school bus driv­ers.

Roche is a life­long res­i­dent of the Penns­bury School Dis­trict. She lived if calls Town­ship be­fore mov­ing to Lower Makefield Town­ship.

“We’re for­tu­nate to have her as an em­ployee of the Penns­bury School Dis­trict,” Wil­liams said.

Roche is also known fondly throughout the community as a year-round fit­ness trainer for se­nior cit­i­zens and a YWCA camp coun­selor and bus driver for students dur­ing the sum­mer months.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.