The Pennsylvania School Bus Association (PSBA) on Tuesday highlighted four school bus drivers for their top performances in recent state and international competitions.
On June 23 and 24, under sunshine and blue skies, school bus drivers from across Pennsylvania competed in the 41st Annual Pennsylvania School Bus Driver Safety Competition, which took place at Mount Nittany Middle School in State College.
A total of 90 drivers competed in this year’s event — 73 in the conventional category and 17 in the transit category — with the top public and private driver in each category advancing to the School Bus Driver International Safety Competition in Indianapolis.
For the Pennsylvania competition, school bus drivers and judges arrived on the evening of Friday, June 23, for an orientation and the drivers’ written examination. On Saturday morning, the drivers took on the skills competition, which included physical and verbal bus inspection; height judgment; diminishing clearance; a simulated bus stop; railroad crossings; backing up; and curb line parking.
When the scores were tallied, the results showed that the following drivers would represent Pennsylvania at the international competition:
Conventional bus category
• Shanon O’Brien — O’Brien drives for Krapf Bus in West Chester and is a repeat champion, having finished first in last year’s Pennsylvania competition.
• Larry Hannon Sr. — Hannon is a driver for Centennial School District in Warminster. He has finished first in numerous state safety competitions and is a nine-time champion at the international level.
Transit bus category
• Cheryl Vogelsang — Vogelsang drives for Eagle Wolfington in Exton. She finished in second place in the transit category, moving up three spots from 2016 to qualify for the international competition.
• Ted Dubbs — Dubbs is a driver for Lower Merion School District in Montgomery County. He finished with the top transit score this year and placed third in last year’s state competition.
“PSBA congratulates all the drivers who trained for the competition,” said Dallas Krapf, chair of the safety competition committee. “I want to also thank all of our volunteers, who are pivotal to the success of this event.”
At the 2017 School Bus Driver International Safety Competition, hosted by the National School Transportation Association in Indianapolis on July 15 and 16, all four Pennsylvania drivers finished in the top 10 in their categories.
In the conventional category, Hannon drove to a second-place finish, and O’Brien came in ninth place. In the transit category, Dubbs finished third, while Vogelsang tied for fourth place.
“The International Safety Competition recognizes the school bus driver top performers from across the nation,” PSBA President Fred Bennett said. “The Keystone State is proud to count our competitors among the elite again this year.”
The complete results of this year’s Pennsylvania School Bus Driver Safety Competition can be found on the PSBA website.