MOORESVILLE – Bus driver Wayne Benfield has been described by Mooresville Graded School District staff as “dependable,” “upbeat” and “positive.”
These traits – along with his strong work ethic and safe driving – earned Benfield the Above and Beyond the Call of Duty award, which he was given at the board’s November meeting.
Mooresville Citizen: How long have you been with MGSD? What did you do before?
Wayne Benfield: I’ve been with the Mooresville Graded School District, this is my 12th year. I’m retired from the U.S. Postal Service. I spent 27 years with the post office. I liked it. You meet a lot of people.
MC: What does a typical day for you look like?
WB: I start out at 6 a.m. going to the bus lot, getting the bus warmed up and ready, pre-tripping it. Then I leave at 6:25 a.m. to start the high school run. Then when I finish that, I start the elementary run at 7:15 a.m., and I take them to Rocky River. And when I let them off, I pick up a load of kids at Rocky and bring them to (Mooresville Intermediate) before I go to (N.F.) Woods for the shuttle. I usually clock out at 4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m.
MC: What do you love most about your job?
WB: I love the kids – talking to them and seeing their little projects that they make. I had a little girl make me a little bracelet the other day, and it’s on my dashboard now. She got on the bus and said, ‘I made this bracelet for you,’ and I said, ‘Thank you,” and I put it on my dashboard. They’re always making you little cards and notes. I love it.
MC: What are some of the most challenging parts of your job?
WB: The most challenging part of my job is just keeping the kids interested, getting them to read books when they’re on the bus, things like that. I try to get them to read books. High school kids, they’re old enough and big enough that they basically take care of themselves, but the little kids you have to watch them. They try to get out of their seats, so I tell them to read books or look out the window, enjoy the scenery.
MC: How did it feel to receive the ABCD award?
WB: It feels good. I’m humbled by it. I was shocked when I received it, but I was raised to always try to do my best in everything I did, and that’s what I try to do.
MC: What do you want Mooresville to know about MGSD or your job?
WB: I just enjoy meeting the parents at the bus stop. I say good morning to them and wave to them, and that makes it a fun ride.