Crapaud- Terry Robblee pulled bus #169 into the parking lot at Englewood School in Crapaud last Friday afternoon.
He opened the doors and the kids loaded on to the bright orange bus, including youngster Norah McGeoghegan.
Norah isn’t the first member of her family Robblee has taken to and from school.
“I drove her mother and her uncle,’’ Robblee said, referring to Norah. “I’ve got a few kids on the bus where I drove their parents to school.’’
Robblee loves being a bus driver, having seen generations of families come and go through the doors.
The parents and children love him as much in return. It is one of the reasons the P.E.I. Home and School Federation presented Robblee with the 2018 School Bus Driver of the Year Award at Englewood on Friday in front of a packed gymnasium.
Robblee is one of two bus drivers in Queens County being recognized by the federation. Westwood Primary School in Cornwall bestowed the same recognition recently on bus driver Benoit (Ben) Gendron.
Robblee was humble in accepting the award.
“It feels great. I enjoy the kids; I enjoy driving the bus; I just enjoy it.’’
The federation annually recognizes school bus drivers for transporting P.E.I. students to school each day.
“A school bus driver plays a significant role throughout a child’s school life,’’ said Donna MacLeod, secretary of the federation, who presented Robblee with his award. “Many of these individuals go above and beyond what is expected of them to have a positive impact on our students.’’
MacLeod pointed out that the bus driver is the first person to greet a child in the morning and the last person to bid them farewell at the end of the school day.
Robblee has assigned seats for the children, separating the older and younger ones, and provides safety training for all to prepare for any emergencies.
As for the students he transports, they had a range of things to say about him — he gives them candy each month, always wears a smile, makes sure everyone is OK and always makes sure there is a parent home for the kids to be safe.
“Makes me want to be a bus driver,’’ said one student.
MacLeod said everyone owes a debt of gratitude to bus drivers.
“(They are) the people who truly connect home and school,’’ she said.