RANDOLPH, NJ — Bus drivers and members of the transportation department gathered on Thursday for the Second Bus Driver Appreciation Brunch, organized by district parent, Tracey Drazek, and sponsored by the Randolph Education Foundation (REF) and the Randolph PTO Council (RPTO).

Bus drivers were very appreciative and repeatedly thanked the parents for putting together such a nice event. “I think it is very nice that they recognize us,” said bus driver Brian Patane. “It’s a team effort,” said bus driver Allan Zak. “We all work together and we have a good crew.”

 The tradition for this event started last year when Drazek felt compelled to do something to show appreciation for the bus drivers after she realized how important and difficult their job is. This realization came on May 17, 2018 when she chaperoned her third-grade son’s field trip to the Waterloo Village. She was there when she learned the news about the tragic accident of the Paramus School bus that was also transporting the kids to the Waterloo Village.

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“I wanted to make sure that the bus drivers knew how much we appreciate them and how they take care of our children and keep them safe,” said Drazek.

In her remarks, Drazek expressed her gratitude, on behalf of the parents, to the bus drivers and the staff. She also thanked the REF and the RPTO for providing the funding, and acknowledged the contributions from parents and community members who donated items for the event and helped her with the preparations.

 Food was catered by Denville Diner, owned by district parent Scott Aiello. The bagels were purchased from Brooklyn Bagels. Sharon Ferraro, from Sharon Sweets, donated beautiful cookies. Some of them in the shape of a school bus and some others that say “thank you.” A signature cake, created by Lindsey Ohlssen, in the shape of a school bus with the text “Thank you” written in the license plate was a huge highlight.

Staff members were surprised with $5 gift cards to DD as a way to say “thank you”. The cards were placed in little buses marked with the name of each staff member. The buses decorated the main wall in the room and above them hang a sign that sum up the spirit of the event. It read: “BUS DRIVERS and STAFF, We Appreciate You!”

“Bus drivers play a critical role in the lives of our students and we are happy to celebrate them,” said Paola Heincke, REF President-Elect who also participated in the event. “A big thank you to Tracey who started this tradition. We are really happy to support this event and look forward to do it again next year.”



The mission of the Randolph Education Foundation is to harness the power of our community to create opportunities that inspire teachers to innovate and enable students to thrive. Randolph Education Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable trust that provides alternative funding to support education and innovation in Randolph Township Schools. Launched in 2009, the REF relies on donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations. These donations are directly applied to vital educational programming for Randolph children.