A Second Career with the Transportation Team

Finding a Second Career with the DCSD Transportation Team
Posted on 01/26/2024

Flexibility, schedule, and breaks are a few reasons that attract those seeking a second career to DCSD’s Transportation Department. People from all walks of life make up the transportation team. Meet a few faces of the department.

Debra Sorg is a transportation educational assistant. Sorg worked in a childcare setting for 18 years and was a victim advocate volunteer for the Parker Police Department. Her friend works in DCSD and told her about the job. 


Sorg’s love of children and a desire to assist those who need help were perfect requisites for the job. She also wanted to improve herself.

“I noticed that I was shying away from people in wheelchairs, and I needed to change this. I need to get comfortable with the uncomfortable,” Sorg said.

Since 2018, Sorg’s been assisting with special needs students, riding the bus with them, and making sure they get to school safely.

“They want to be treated like anyone else. And they’ll let you know what’s going on. They know the route and the stops,” she said.

Ted Offerman in the transportation officeTed Offerman spent 32 years in the satellite communications industry in the Denver metro area. A stressful job that often spilled over into his personal life, his goal was a semi-retirement, stress-free job. That’s the life he’s now living as a bus driver for special needs students.

“I have a soft place in my heart for these kids,” he said. “I find this job fulfilling! I get to meet all the kids and their families. I pick up students at their homes. Because I live within a couple of miles of the terminal, I’ll often see my families at the grocery store!”

Offerman also likes driving for BASE (Before and After School Enterprising Programming) field trips. He says it’s fun. 

“During school breaks, I may drive BASE students to a movie theater and in the summer to a Rockies baseball game,” he said.

Offerman’s wife works as a kitchen manager for DCSD, so now they have the same days off - an extra benefit that allows them to plan vacations together.

After nearly five years with DCSD, Offerman said he has learned one thing from his students: patience.

Brian Chesher is a 20-year United States Air Force veteran, who served as a special agent for the Office of Special Investigations. His specialty? A blood spatter expert in the forensics department. Chesher’s lived all over the world, including Buckley Air Force Base. 

Chesher semi-retired in 2020 and wanted to build on PERA to increase his retirement pay. He is now a general education bus driver. 

“I run a pretty tight bus. There’s good order and discipline on my bus,” he said. 

That’s not surprising coming from an Air Force veteran. One of the secrets he said is learning the names of the students as soon as possible. That way you can call them out specifically.

He drives the morning and afternoon shifts, which leaves him time to do a treadmill workout or take a nap in between. His wife works as a registrar at Iron Horse Elementary, so they enjoy breaks from school together.

Chesher says when you’re driving a bus everyone waves at you – older people, kids, toddlers, everyone! 

He said it is tremendously rewarding to get his students safely to and from school.

“It’s the most fun job I’ve had! It’s a blast, and it’s rewarding,” he said.

Daniel Smith in the transportation officeDaniel Smith is a Relief Transportation Educational Assistant and a graduate of the DCSD Bridge Transition Program. Smith steps in when someone calls out sick or is on vacation, or when they need one-on-one help with a student. He also pre-trips the vehicles and makes sure the medical equipment is on board the buses and checks the locks for wheelchairs. 

He clocks in early at 5:30 a.m. In one week he can work at all three DCSD terminals: Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, and Parker. He’s on call during the morning and afternoon bus shifts. Smith takes advantage of the downtime during the day.

“I live five minutes away, so I can workout, cook, clean, eat lunch, or take a nap in between shifts,” he said. 

“The best part of the job is the breaks. I like working occasionally for BASE throughout the year and during the summer. I help with field trips and I get to hang out with the kids at BASE,” he said.

Smith also gives presentations to Bridge Program students nearing graduation about opportunities with the transportation department. He encourages them to think about employment with the district.

“The most surprising thing about this job is how much fun it is,” Smith said. 

He’s also proud that he’s approaching his sixth anniversary with DCSD, and he said that the time has flown by! 

“In this job, you learn patience and how to adapt to the students. Never expect the same day twice,” he said. 

“I love helping people and kids. I love making an impact on kids,” he shared. “I’ve learned that everyone has a different story. I know that kids may seem fine, but they are all dealing with something. You never know what happened that morning, or what they’ve seen or been through.”

Are you looking for a part-time gig or a full-time career? Do you want to make a difference in the life of a child and family? Visit our website to learn more!

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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, [email protected], 303-387-0127.

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