Best of Moffat County: Lorrae Moon wins best school bus driver
June 28, 2013
Craig — Lorrae Moon is the proud, admittedly over-protective mother of three boys, but she has oodles of other kids. Bus-loads of them, in fact.
The community chose Moon as the Best School Bus Driver for The Best of Moffat County 2013 — recognition of the abiding dedication and warmth she has brought to what can be an incredibly unappreciated occupation.
When she first learned of her Best of Moffat County award, the humble helmswoman was exuberant.
"That is so wild! I'm just kind of in shock right now," Moon exclaimed. "That's amazing… there are so many other people who do what I do. Wow. I can barely believe it."
Moon isn't one to seek the limelight or crave recognition, according to Stauffer. As was the case when she learned of her award, Moon often deflects direct compliments, preferring to focus on team efforts.
"I feel very honored, I can tell you that much," Moon said after her initial exhilaration subsided a bit. "I never though something like that would come my way."
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Her co-workers felt the award was well deserved.
"You can tell she really loves what she does," said Moon's co-worker of 18 years Tom Stauffer. "She's very professional when she's doing her job but still really involved with the kids."
While much of Moffat County is still sound asleep, the vivacious 47-year-old rolls out of bed at 4:30 a.m. every weekday, a routine she has maintained for the last 25 years, and then picks up her long-time work partner MCSD Bus #56. As the sun rises, Moon takes to the streets of Craig.
"I've always been a morning person," Moon said. "And I really do look forward to going to work everyday. Seeing everybody and greeting the kids when they get on the bus is really the best part of my day."
Moon makes a point of personally getting to know all of the students on her route, no mean feat considering she drives for all of the Moffat County School District's schools as well as occasionally ferrying various groups of students to out-of-town activities.
"She's great with the kids she drives, even the problem kids," Stauffer said. "She's not one to fly off the handle at anybody. She deals with problems really, really well and with basically endless patience."
Moon's method for dealing with disruptive passengers is a far cry from the stereotypical irate bus driver.
"I bring them up and have them sit in the front seat," Moon explained. "And then we talk. We get to know each other. I like letting (the students) know that I am someone they can trust."
After the first few weeks of school, Moon reports that she has very few problems with disruptive behavior, if any.
Moon began her bus-driving career in Hayden when her sons reached school age.
"I wanted to be their driver," Moon said with a laugh. "I'm one of those moms that has trouble letting go."
That devotion and tenderness extend to the students that crowd Moon's bus each morning.
"I see them grow from kindergarten through graduation, and after a while they sort of become my kids," Moon said. "They are what makes this job so wonderful. Maybe the day will come when it's no longer a joy to go to work, and I guess that's when I'll stop. I don't see it happening though."
Andie Tessler can be reached at 970-875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org.