Posted by Communications Department at 12/13/2016
If a student is having a bad day, that frown will turn upside down if he or she is riding on Jon-Scott Johnson’s bus. Between “Candy Fridays,” Bus Bucks and good conversation, there’s no room for anything but a smile.
“I’m the first person they see in the morning. I make sure they see a smile and greet them by name,” describes Johnson. “You can tell some kids don’t have a great start and I want to make sure that they see a smile when they get on the bus.”
This is Johnson’s third year as a bus driver for the District. He started driving after 40 years in city administration.
“After 40 years in a professional career, bus driving is the best job I’ve ever had,” says Johnson. “I just really enjoy the kids. They are so much fun.”
Johnson loves the diversity he has on his bus as well. He and his wife, Lucy, even took Somali language lessons last year to get to know his students better. He loves to greet the Somali families by name and say hello. However, he shares that they also get a chuckle at him speaking their language due to his accent.
Johnson believes that he is very fortunate to have high schools students as his last route of the day. They always have good and meaningful conversations. Of course, they love Bus Bucks and candy Fridays as much as the younger kids.
“Some high school girls gave me a card the other day to thank me for being such a good bus driver,” says Johnson.
It really means a lot to him to Johnson to give back to the community as much as he can, which is why he and his wife, in their spare time, fix-up and repair bikes to donate to Habitat for Humanity, Lutheran Social Services and give bikes to other needy families moving to the area.
“Every kid deserves a bike,” says Johnson.
Johnson is always willing to accept bike donations. He and his wife also fit helmets and bikes to kids as well.
If you don’t see him repairing bikes for kids, you’ll see him on a bike with Lucy on the trails, particularly in Northern Minnesota.
But, most of all Johnson says, “I just try to be a kind, caring Grandpa.”