Noel Robins, a veteran driver in the Davis School District, knows what caring is all about.
For almost 12 years, Robins has driven 120 miles a day, 35,000 miles a year, transporting behaviorally disordered students to the district's Learning Center, Mountain High and Lincoln Elementary. It was a route others didn't want."Sure, behaviorally disordered kids can try your patience, but all they need is love," said the Layton resident, explaining his success. "Just listen to them and love them. Remember, over 70 percent of them come from single-parent, often poor homes. They need a kind word, some praise, somebody to listen to."
Robins, who began driving a school bus in 1962 to supplement his farm income, was recently awarded the district's highest bus driver award, the Floyd Hamblin award. In addition to his eight hours a day on the road, he still tends to his 60 acres of hay, grain and pasture.
"I've enjoyed it all, especially the kids. This has been a good job - helped me make ends meet so I can keep the farm," he said.
Robins takes pride in caring for his bus and his passengers. Whether it is a comforting arm around the shoulder or firm discipline, he has earned students respect. His current and former passengers know him wherever he goes. Some years ago while Christmas shopping a young lady reached over the counter and placed a big kiss on his cheek and gave him a hug. He had been her bus driver 10 years earlier.
Robins also recounts some unusual circumstances during his driving career. One day after a kindergarten run, he was eating lunch when he saw a child get off the bus and start walking up the street. The girl had gone to sleep on the bus. Since then, he always checks the bus for sleeping children. - Joel Campbell.