At 73 years old, Roger Combs has no plans to settle down. As a delivery driver for the district, Combs spends his work day transporting mail and student records throughout the district. He knows every square inch, and he has every school route and record keeper’s name memorized by heart.
When Combs walks into the front office, he’s greeted with big smiles and “glad to see yous.” It’s no secret, Combs is highly respected by everyone he knows in the district, and that’s a lot of people.
“Roger is always kind and gracious when he comes in to pick up and deliver records,” says Cheryl Drews, data processor at Houston Middle School. “My admiration for him started when he explained how best to send records to ensure mistakes weren’t made.”
The feeling is mutual. Combs loves his job and truly believes the district is doing what is best for students.
“I love my job, and I really like working for the district. We do so much to help students,” Combs says proudly.
Combs is no stranger to the district. He was born in Irving, attended Irving ISD schools – Central Elementary School (shown in the picture to the left and now a retirement center), Bowie Middle School and Irving High School – and has worked for the district since 2009.
Before Combs was a delivery driver, he worked for General Telephone and Electronics (GTE) for 27 years climbing telephone poles. Prior to that, Combs served in the military, along with his four older brothers.
Combs enlisted in 1965 (see picture to the right) and went straight to Vietnam as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division for the Army. After 13 months, Combs extended his stay for another year as a door gunner on helicopters. Altogether, he served 175 combat missions and became a squad leader before leaving the army in December 1969.
Those days in the army taught him a lot. They taught him discipline, grit, determination and sense of camaraderie – all attributes he has carried over into his 11 years of service with the district.
David Garcia, manager of the district’s warehouse, is incredibly grateful for Roger.
“Roger is the image of the warehouse,” Garcia says. “He is seen at every campus by so many people with his positive, upbeat attitude which reflects on everyone here at the warehouse. He teaches us all to remain excited about doing our part for the district. He doesn’t let us down in either his assigned tasks or his attitude.”