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Celebrating Women in Transportation: Location Manager Gracious Royster
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Celebrating Women in Transportation: Location Manager Gracious Royster

March 25, 2021

First Student is proud to recognize and support Women’s History Month. Our workforce is made up of many talented, strong women who take on a variety of leadership roles including senior vice presidents all the way down to the managers and trainers at our locations.

From student to driver to team leader, Gracious Royster has experienced almost every aspect of the school bus journey. “For me, First Student is a warm, comfortable pair of shoes that just don’t want to get worn out.” Gracious started her transportation career as a bus driver in 1980 for Brockton, Massachusetts (#11917) Public Schools, the same district she attended school. It didn’t take long for management to promote her, and in 1988, Gracious became Location Manager. Now, Gracious oversees a team of over 130 employees, who safely transport 7,500 students daily
“I love interacting with people and watching them grow,” Gracious explained. “I find strengths in people and encourage them to grow within the organization, reminding them they can be more than a driver.”

“[Gracious’] employee retention is remarkable and speaks to her management style, skills and dedication to the job,” said Jim Castelli, SVP and nominator. “In fact, Gracious often loans drivers out to assist her fellow managers during driver shortages. That is the epitome of Gracious; she is always happy to help those in need.”

Gracious has received numerous awards over the years including Location Manager of the Year.
“I’m part of an organization that 41 years ago was male-dominated and there was no one that looked like me. I proudly look around now and smile,” Gracious said.
Thank you Gracious for your leadership and service to First Student.