Alice Delawski of Endeavour started her school bus driver career subbing for her husband Bill over 46 years ago. She announced her retirement at the end of the school year at the Preeceville School.
“My husband, Bill, had the contract to transport children to the Rockford School from west of Rockford," Delawski said. “When the students moved from Rockford School, they were then transported to Endeavour. The division paid my husband $90 a month to transport the children. When he asked for $100 a month the Sub Unit Trustees refused to give him a raise,” she stated.
“In 1965 they gave him a big old bus to drive, which was no problem as he was a very good mechanic and could fix it if needed. In 1967 Bill was still driving school bus and I subbed for him often.”
Alice said her husband then quit driving school bus and a neighbour took over his route when the high school students were transported to Sturgis.
“I took over the route to Endeavour school,” she recalled. “Then they closed the Endeavour school and the children had to be driven to Preeceville. I spent 46 years driving school bus, transported more than 200 children in all those years, never took any sick days and never once hit the ditch or got into an accident.
“No matter how stormy it was, I always brought the children back home safely. Many of the students I transported to school now have their own children and I have now come full circle with transporting them as well.
“Through my school bus career, I have faced many challenges from bullying on the bus to new buses and complications with a bus mechanic who though women should not drive a school bus. But overall I was supported by parents, school staff and most of the students. The most students that I have had on the bus was 28 kids,” Delawski said.
The last five years she was faced with the challenges of driving the wheelchair bus, but in her true fashion took on the challenge and handled it as the expert driver she had become.
“I have made many good friends in the Division whom I will miss, including a very kind and considerate mechanic at the bus garage in Sturgis. I am sad to leave my position as driver for GSSD, but it is time for me to expand my horizons. Now I will spend my days talking to friends and neighbours about what God has in store for the future and encourage them to look into their Bibles and see what a glorious future we have,” she concluded.