GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Tuesday was the last day of school for thousands of students enrolled in Guilford County Schools. Tuesday was also the last day for long-time bus driver Elton Davenport.
"I worked another job for 32 years and it was no problem for me to leave. But this one is a problem for me to leave,” he said.
For the past 17 years, Davenport has developed a tight bond with a number of northern Guilford County students and parents. In the Ridgewood neighborhood, parents showed their appreciation by placing over 40 signs across the neighborhood. Each one wished Davenport, also known as “Mr. D,” a happy retirement.
"He feels like these kids are his own kids," says Kimm Rountree. "He calls them his kids. He feels like they are his responsibility.”
Another parent Eric Sizemore added, "Mr. D cares for the kids like it’s his family. He's a father, grandfather figure. My three kids have all ridden his bus. He’s wonderful.”
At Northern Elementary, the staff presented Davenport with a plaque for his years of service. The Ridgewood neighborhood gave Mr. D a huge gift basket filled with candy and cards. Guilford County Schools framed the stop sign that came from Davenport's first school bus.