Deane Davies is wrapping up his 45-year career as a bus driver for the Auburn School District at the end of this summer.
Davies will be recognized as the Classified Support Employee of the Year at the Auburn School District meeting on May 9, said school district spokesperson Vicki Alonzo.
Davies said becoming a school bus driver came pretty naturally after he graduated from Auburn High School in 1975.
“I liked the bus drivers that I had and I always kind of had a thing for school buses ever since I was a kid, so I kind of just fell into place here,” Davies said. “I’ve been a bus driver now for 45 years, all in Auburn.”
Davies said not being confined to an office all day and spending time with the students are two of his favorite aspects of driving school buses. The thing he’ll miss the most is the people who have become like family to him, Davies said.
“I have some very, very close friendships and I’ll still keep those friendships, but it’s very easy when you’re there every day and seeing those people,” Davies said. “I’ll certainly miss the kids and the teachers, the camaraderie I have with all the staff. It’s been a good ride.”
Davies said the one thing he won’t miss is waking up at 4:30 a.m. every day and driving on cold winter mornings.
“Deane is truly a gem and an icon of Auburn,” said Dennis Grad, executive director of transportation.
Deane always has the best interest of students, the department and the district in the forefront, Grad said. He is an asset to the Auburn School District, the department and the greater community. Everyone who knows him genuinely appreciates his dedication, Grad said.
After he retires, Davies said he hopes to do some road trips around America to visit friends and family.
Although he’s retiring as a bus driver, Davies isn’t going anywhere soon. Next year he plans to work as a substitute bus aide.