BALTIMORE — Members of the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) heard from two high-profile speakers Tuesday morning during the association's annual convention here.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Anne Ferro, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, spoke to delegates about various issues related to pupil transportation.
In his address, LaHood said, "School buses are the safest way for children to go to school. Bar none. Period." He also spoke about the role that the American School Bus Council plays in educating the public about the safety of school buses, and more generally about the safety record of yellow buses.
LaHood and Ferro weren't the only high-profile officials to address convention attendees. On Monday, Congressman Tim Scott (R-S.C.) was scheduled to head a presentation.
In other news from Baltimore, top school bus drivers from across the U.S. and Canada competed in NSTA's 41st Annual School Bus Driver International Safety Competition over the weekend.
The event began with a written test, and then the contestants got behind the wheel to test their driving skills. They competed in one of three categories — Conventional, Transit or Small Bus.
The event culminated with an awards banquet and ceremony where the winners of the competition were announced.
The winners are:
First Place: Larry Hannon — Centennial School District in Warminster, Pa. (Hannon’s eighth win)
Second Place: Brent Carmen — Morgan Hill (Calif.) Unified School District
Third Place: Mark Koelbl — First Student Inc. of Alberta
First Place: Mark Miller — Bellingham (Wash.) Public Schools (Miller's second win)
Second Place: John J. Welsh — Lower Marion School District in Ardmore, Pa.
Third Place: Jesse Hill — Academy School District #20 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
First Place: Russell Altizer — Montgomery County Public Schools in Christiansburg, Va.
Second Place: James McMinn — First Student Inc. of Kansas
Third Place: Karen Schoonover — Mountain Valley Transportation in Roanoke, Va.
Next year’s NSTA Annual Meeting and Convention will be held July 14-18 in Milwaukee. The School Bus Driver International Safety Competition will be held July 14-15.