Seeing a smile on a child’s face, or helping to put it there, is what Myles Noye regards as the most satisfying part of being a school bus driver.
Noye was called in to Ellerslie Elementary School early on Wednesday and suddenly found himself seated as the guest of honour for a special assembly. Prince Edward Island Home and School Federation representations were in attendance to present him with the School Bus Driver of the Year Award.
The award comes two weeks prior to Noye’s retirement from a 35-year bus driving career. He actually started driving 39 years ago, delivering students to Hernewood and Westisle schools from 1979 to 1993.
He then shifted to school custodian at Ellerslie Elementary for four years. He has driven an Ellerslie Elementary School bus route since 1997, most recently at the wheel of Bus 561. He’s driven others, including buses 42, 23, 123 and 94, but he thinks his last one is his favourite. “It’s more comfortable, yes, way more comfortable,” he said.
He reads to the Grade 1 students, attends school concerns and assemblies.
“His love for children shows on the faces of his students” Home and School Federation secretary, Donna MacLeod, read from one of the letters the federation received supporting Noye’s nomination.
School principal Jason Cormier praised him for going ‘above and beyond.’
“He’s just super-helpful; always willing to lend an extra hand,” Cormier added.
Dave Gillis with the P.E.I Public Schools Branch also noted Noye has represented fellow bus drivers on the bargaining unit.
“I’m going to miss you,” Noye addressed the students.
“Then come back here one day,” a student shouted from the assembly.
Noye was pleased to gain his passengers’ respect. “If you’ve got the respect of the kids, you have no trouble,” he said as members of the school choir sang in the background, ‘the wheels of the bus go round and round.’
Graduating student Cierra Galant who has driven on Noye’s bus since Kindergarten said he’s been a good driver. “He can handle our bus,” she said before adding that Bus 561 is the school’s “calmest” bus.
Nurse and social work are all part of the unwritten job description of a bus driver, said Noye in expressing appreciation for the recognition. “I’m really touched.”
“They’re all very special,” he described his passengers. “They all have different aspects of how they want to be treated.”
Some travel, including a trip to Europe, is in Noye’s retirement plans.