FISHERS, Ind. — Top school bus drivers from across the U.S. and Canada demonstrated their skills here over the weekend in the School Bus Driver International Safety Competition.
The National School Transportation Association (NSTA) hosted the 47th edition of the competition at Hamilton Southeastern Schools in Fishers. The event was held in conjunction with NSTA’s annual meeting and convention, which kicked off Monday morning in Indianapolis.
For the School Bus Driver International Safety Competition, contestants began on Saturday with a written exam testing their understanding of the rules of the road. Then the drivers got behind the wheel and completed a road course on Sunday.
In any state or Canadian province, a total of six drivers per year can qualify for the School Bus Driver International Safety Competition. That can include two drivers (one public sector, one private sector) in each school bus category: transit (Type D), conventional (Type C), and small bus (Type A).
NSTA President Todd Monteferrario said that the international competition “truly showcases the best of the best in school transportation, as each of the competitors are tested on their knowledge, maneuvering, and skill. School bus transportation is the safest mode of transportation available, and these elite drivers show why at every turn.”
NSTA announced the winners of the 2017 School Bus Driver International Safety Competition in an awards banquet held on Sunday evening and sponsored by IC Bus. Here are the top contestants in the three categories:
• First: David Mansfield, Ottertail Minn-Dakota Coaches, Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
• Second: Karina Larson, Forest Lake (Minn.) Area Schools.
• Third: Mary Slate, Kanawha County Schools, Charleston, West Virginia.
• First: Billy Wiseman, Kanawha County Schools, Charleston, West Virginia.
• Second: Larry Hannon Sr., Centennial School District, Warminster, Pennsylvania.
• Third: Michael Castaneda, Northeast Independent School District, San Antonio, Texas.
• Honorable mention: Mark VanderZouwen, Grandville (Mich.) Public Schools.
• First: Hannah Beard, First Student, St. Charles, Missouri.
• Second: Laurel Bird, Preston (Idaho) School District.
• Third: Ted Dubbs, Lower Merion School District, Ardmore, Pennsylvania.
• Honorable mention: Gene Thrasher, Bend-La Pine Schools, Bend, Oregon.
“We congratulate all of the competitors in this international competition as well as the winners in each vehicle category," Monteferrario said.