Journal class

40 years on the road

Donna Schoenbeck has driven school buses for District 211 for 40 years. She was inspired to start driving by her stepmother, former D211 bus driver Penny Little. Schoenbeck said she would retire at the end of March.

A familiar face leading Palatine High School students to and from school will be handing over his keys in the coming weeks after four decades of service.

In early 1982, Donna Schoenbeck was looking for a part-time job that would complement her full-time night job.

His stepmother, then Township High School Dist. 211 bus driver Penny Little approached her with a recommendation: Join her as a school bus driver.

On January 25, 1982, Schoenbeck hit his first road in what would become a four-decade career.

“I never thought I would make a career out of it,” Schoenbeck said. “But when the transport manager offered me a full-time job, I stayed.”

Beginning her career as a driver of Bus 62, Schoenbeck will finish in March as a driver of Bus 563 with the Lycée Palatin. She said the hardest part was the cold weather, but the people make the job interesting.

“The district has been a wonderful place to work all these years,” she said. “Kids and people have always brought me back.”

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