Yolanda Imbriano spent the majority of her career as a school bus monitor in the Oceanside District, warmly welcoming students as they got on the school bus each day.
“I would be up at 5, come down, put my coffee pot on and the bus driver would be here about a quarter of seven,” Imbriano said
This was her routine until the ripe age of 99. And she had all intentions of continuing, even after she turned 100 in August, but her doctor told her it wouldn’t be wise because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“He felt the minute I would get on the bus, one of those children would sneeze or cough and I’d get it,” she said.
Even her own kids thought it was the right time.
“They said ‘Ma, don’t you think you should retire? I said ‘No why should I!?’”
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The Superintendent of Oceanside Schools calls Mrs. Imbriano‘s time with the district “an incredible milestone “and she wishes her happiness in her retirement, Imbriano has stopped short of calling it that. In fact, if the vaccine is available next fall and doctors give her the all-clear, she said she wouldn’t think twice about returning to work
“In a minute,” Imbriano said. “In a minute I would go back. I loved doing what I was doing.”
It wasn’t about the money, Mrs. Imbriano says she did it to stay busy. After all, her starting salary was $1.25 an hour.
“I just loved to work, so to me that $1.25 wasn’t important,” she said. “I just enjoyed doing that.”
Mrs. Imbriano credits the kids, the tens of thousands she met over the years who she says kept her young at heart.
“Every day I spent with them, they were the sweetest,” she said. “They loved me and I loved them.”
While she’s getting used to her less hectic schedule she offers this advice to those who wonder how she’s made it this far.
“Don’t smoke, try to exercise, plenty of olive oil and a glass of wine.”
Words from a woman who has proven it works.