On Sept. 13, the Pennsbury School Board named Debra Roche the 2011-12 Bus Driver of the Year.
Roche, who was selected among 135 bus drivers in the district, has 37 years of experience behind the wheel and for the past decade has transported special needs students with the assistance of her bus aide, Diane Tomlinson.
“Mrs. Roche has literally transported thousands of children to and from school safely for almost four decades,” said Charlie Williams, Pennsbury’s Director of Transportation.
“She has spent the last 10 years on the job transporting special education children. This segment of the Pennsbury population can present a wide array of challenges and it takes a special combination of patience and understanding to able to gain their trust.”
Driving school buses is a family tradition for Mrs. Roche, as her parents Fred and Loretta were both in the driver’s seat for Pennsbury School district before her with a combined 58 years of experience on the road.
“I really enjoy my job,” said Roche. “I come to work every day looking forward to seeing my students and my aide and it is just one of those things that when you work with special needs students, you have this camaraderie or closeness with these students and the parents.”
Mrs. Roche, a life-long resident of Pennsbury School District, is also a year-round fitness trainer for senior citizens and a camp counselor and bus driver for the YMCA.
“This is something that I will treasure for the rest of my life and knowing that you do something positive for other’s lives is something that you can take with you,” said Roche. “I hope to be here for a little while longer and thank you for recognizing our accomplishments as bus drivers.”