“A House is Not a Home” is a 1964 ballad made famous by Dionne Warwick in which she sings about how the most important part of a house is filling it with the people you care most for. This year, throughout the Western Wayne School District, faculty, staff, administration, and students are embracing the PBIS initiative which has the main purpose of creating a proactive positive environment for everyone in the school community.
PBIS is an ongoing effort of the Western Wayne School District to guide students in behaving and interacting with others in such a way as to promote an effective learning environment. A big part of creating a place where students can thrive is to have adult leaders that make the students believe school is like home in the respect that they can feel safe and cared for there.
School resource Officer Robert Robbins’ continued efforts at Western Wayne are one of the reasons why students feel so at home especially at the Middle and High schools.
Robbins has served in his position at Western Wayne since 2013. He takes extra time out of his day to get to know the students and let them know he is there for them. As a part of PBIS, students in the Middle School have been rewarded with being able to have lunch with Robbins. Many of them have enjoyed this perk.
“He listens to us,” eighth grader Ireland Swingle said. “It’s fun when I get to beat him at Uno. Spending time with him is something new, so it’s really fun.”
Robbins explained that he thinks playing cards with the students at lunch helps to break the ice.
“It’s actually great to sit with them,” Robbins said. “They open up, and you get to hear about what they like to do. They get to see a different side of me, and I get to see a different side of them.”
“He’s like a sports announcer when we play,” eighth grader Austin Barger said. “He’s really funny and really nice. He even gave me an Uno deck one time and I really liked that.”
Robbins explained how this year for the holiday season he sat with students at lunch and helped them color pictures to hang on the wall in the cafeteria.
“The students are encouraged to take them home with them,” Robbins explained. “However, any pictures that were left behind before the holiday, I took home and displayed at my house as a table cloth. They really mean something to me because they represent the quality time I get to spend with the students.”
Robbins discussed why he feels it is
so important to spend meaningful time with them.
“You don’t often know what kind of or if any attention they are getting at home. I make myself available and I see a lot of positives come from that. The students don’t want to let any of the faculty down by misbehaving,” Robbins said.
Working with students to help guide them has been a part of Robbin’s job that he truly enjoys at Western Wayne. This type of work is a change from experiences he has had in work up to this point.
Robbins has a long career path that precedes his time at the district. Officer Robbins served in the United States Army in the 101st Airborne Division as a Light Wheel Vehicle Mechanic at Fort Campbell Kentucky for two years. He earned the Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the Air Assault Badge.
Upon the conclusion of his active service, Officer Robbins joined the Pennsylvania National Guard and served in Alpha Co, 1st Battalion of the 109th Infantry Regiment. In this unit, he served as a Squad Leader, Vehicle Commander, was promoted to Sergeant and was awarded the General S. J. Stewart Medal for service and NCO Academy Graduate Ribbon.
In 1991, Officer Robbins joined the Pennsylvania Air National Guard and served with the Security Police Flight at Willow Grove Naval Air Station. He was responsible for base security, Flight Operations Security, and the protection of aircraft and missile weapons sites. He earned the Rank of Staff Sergeant. He attended the Security Police Academy at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas in which he earned the title of Honor Graduate and was awarded the Pennsylvania Commendation Medal. Officer Robbins received an Honorable Discharge from all three branches he served in.
Officer Robbins is a retired Pennsylvania State Trooper, who served for 23 years and spent his entire career in the Patrol Unit. He was promoted to Corporal in 1999 and was responsible for nearly every facet of daily operations in a State Police Troop. He was stationed all over the State from Bucks County to Wayne County.
Now Robbins, especially through this year’s PBIS initiative, works to provide many positive experiences for the students of Western Wayne. For example, the day before the holiday break Robbins served as D.J. for all of the lunches in the Middle School and got to interact with students. He, also, did this at the end of the first quarter as another PBIS reward for students and it went over so well that administration wanted him to do it for the holidays.
Robbins surely serves as an example of the purpose of PBIS through all of his interactions with students throughout the district. Through his service to students he is also duly rewarded.
“Western Wayne has saved me in a sense,” Robbins explained. “I now get to see a lot of positive things that I didn’t always see in my career before this. I think this is what God has called me to do. I get to spend time with the kids and let them know they are safe here, cared for here, loved here, and can get help here.”