Donna and Thomas Pearre - Retired Faculty & Staff - McDonogh School

Donna and Thomas Pearre

Bus drivers Tom and Donna Pearre were a pair at McDonogh until their retirement in January of this year, so it makes sense to talk about them together.

Mr. Tom began driving a McDonogh bus in September of 2003. Almost 10 years later, his wife, Ms. Donna, joined the fleet. Ask any of the other drivers and they will tell you that the two were devoted to each other and to McDonogh. On the road and in their buses, they are described as easy-going and hard-working, kind and caring. 

For years, parents appreciated how the couple looked out for the children on Bus 8 and Bus 15 and treated them as their own. If a parent was late to meet either bus, the Pearres waited for them to arrive so that their precious cargo would not be alone. 

Working beyond the prescribed hours was not a problem for the couple. In fact, they were habitually early. If they had to be on the bus lot at 3:30 in the afternoon, they would be there at 3:00—Ms. Donna reading a book in the quiet of her vehicle before the kids clamored aboard, and Mr. Tom making the rounds and joking with the other drivers. They were early risers, too. Even on snowy mornings, while McDonogh was still assessing road conditions to determine if school would be closed or delayed, the two were already on their way to their first stop because, as they believed, it was always possible for there to be a road closure, a car accident, or some condition that could make them late.

When McDonogh created two Howard County stops in the wake of the pandemic, Mr. Tom volunteered to join his wife on the route so they could be together in their separate buses! That’s the way they were. 

Mr. Tom and Ms. Donna were never ones to bask in praise and gratitude, so they are not with us today. But I believe they are doing what they love best. Being together.