Beloved school bus driver celebrates milestone



When you first meet Diane Giuliani, you can’t help but be drawn in by her warmth and huge smile.

As soon as you strike up a conversation with the Plainville native, you quickly find she's not only vivacious and charismatic, but incredibly passionate – especially when it comes to being a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and a school bus driver.

This year Giuliani is celebrating 40 years of safely transporting Plainville children to and from school in Bus No. 12.

Giuliani began her school bussing career in 1981. Her children were in school full time, and she had flexibility in her schedule, so she answered a help wanted ad for drivers.

Forty years later, she’s still going strong and has one of the best safety records at the DATTCO bus yard.

Giuliani’s advice to novice bus drivers? Stay calm.

“[D]on’t let the kids – or aggressive drivers – get to you and cause you to do or say something you will regret,” she said. “Take a deep breath before reacting; focus on just getting the kids to school and home safely.”

DATTCO branch manager Tim Rebstad has high praise for Giuliani.

“It’s truly amazing that the community of Plainville has had 40 straight years in which they have not had to worry about students on Bus No. 12 getting to and from school safely,” he said. “Every morning, I wake up knowing the students of Bus No. 12 will be greeted with a smile from Diane."

One of the most rewarding aspects of the job for Giuliani are the notes she receives from parents thanking her for her effort.

“That makes me feel really good,” she said. “It’s an honor they think so highly of me. It makes me tear up when I think about it.” 

In addition to being a school bus driver, Giuliani helps take care of her 5-year-old great-granddaughter, Ivy, who rides Bus 12 to and from Linden Street School.

Ivy used to ride in a car seat on her great-grandmother’s bus, and was lovingly nicknamed the “bus baby” by Giuliani’s co-workers. 

One could say bussing is in Giuliani’s genes: Her father drove a CT Transit bus for 46 years. Also, her husband was a school bus driver in Plainville for a decade before taking a driving job with the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC).

“I love my job; I really do,” said Giuliani.

And she doesn’t plan to hand over the keys any time soon.

“As long as I am able to do it, I am going to keep on doing it,” she said. “DATTCO has been very good to me.”

Press Release

 



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