Boulder Valley School District

A day in the life of BVSD’s bus drivers and aides

Bus drivers playing music at transportation center
Amy Thompson


Boulder Valley School District bus drivers and aides play a crucial role in the school district by transporting more than 5,000 students safely each day. Their work entails a split schedule, with routes operating before and after school hours. But what exactly do they do during the hours in between? Here's a glimpse into their day.

Early Mornings and Sunrises
The one common denominator among transportation staff is that they tend to be morning people. They typically arrive at one of BVSD’s three terminals, located in Boulder, Lafayette, and Nederland, bright and early, between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. 

“I arrive at the Boulder terminal at six in the morning to pre-trip buses. I have some witty banter with Shane in dispatch, get my keys, and head out into the yard to start my morning route,” said David Pessot, Boulder bus driver.

Drivers out of our Nederland Terminal enjoy the morning beauty of the mountains.

“I am up at 5 a.m. and get to see the sun come up. I drive to work watching for the wonder around us. I drive through the mountains looking for wild cats, weasels, bears, snowshoe hares, deer, elk, and moose,” shared Zoe Amrein, Nederland bus driver.

Mid-Day Free Time
While being early birds is common for Transportation staff, what they do during their mid-day free time, as part of the split-day schedule of morning and afternoon school routes, varies greatly. Many choose to serve BVSD in other roles. Several drivers take on school field trips or drive students to BVSD’s technical education high school. Others train new staff or lead continuing education classes. Some serve lunch in schools, while others work as paraeducators or school community liaisons.

Many have part-time jobs outside the district or are university students. BVSD even has some entrepreneurs in its bus driver ranks.

“I run an apparel screen printing shop, which means I get inky fingers!” said Anthony Zotti, Nederland bus driver. “My days are hectic, but a ton of fun.”

As a Colorado school district, it is unsurprising that one of the most popular ways BVSD staff spends their mid-day breaks is by getting outside and exercising. Hiking, walking the dog, biking, rock climbing, golfing, and playing pickleball were all top responses.

Creative pursuits are also popular as musicians, artists, and actors work as BVSD bus drivers. Sometimes there are even mid-day jam sessions at the BVSD bus terminal.

For some, the split schedule offers a refreshing break from the conventional work week.

“During the mid-day, I usually either go home and get stuff done, make appointments, go out and enjoy the free time, or run errands,” shared Mackenzie Fives, Lafayette bus driver. “I personally think there are lots of advantages to having the extra free time.”

A Balanced Life
The flexibility of a split schedule allows for a balanced lifestyle, extending beyond the school day to encompass holidays and summers.

“I chose bus driving because of the free time during the day and the full-time benefits for part-time work. I used to spend a lot of my mid-days caring for my ailing father who has since passed. I then spent over 18 months of my ‘free time’ rebuilding after the Marshall fire,” said Jill Sellars, Boulder bus driver. “Now, I enjoy a lot of free time to exercise, play pickleball, walk the dog, cook, maintain my household, socialize with friends, and sometimes I even take a nap. I love my schedule!”

Switching to a split schedule can be a bit of an adjustment, but many drivers find this lifestyle preferable to traditional full-time work, relishing the blend of fulfilling work and ample free time.

“Before I became a bus driver for BVSD I worked a normal 40-hour work week doing sales for Vail Resorts,” said Pessot. “It took some getting used to having a break during the day. Not sure I could go back to a regular work week.”

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