ROSEMOUNT, Minn. — Top drivers from across the U.S. and Canada showcased their knowledge and skills in the School Bus Driver International Safety Competition this weekend.
The National School Transportation Association (NSTA) hosted the 45th edition of the competition at Dakota County Technical College on Saturday and Sunday.
The contestants began on Saturday with a written exam testing their understanding of the rules of the road. On Sunday, they got behind the wheel of a school bus and completed a road course. Drivers competed in one of three categories: conventional, transit or small bus.
Here are the top contestants:
1st — Mary Slate, Kanawha County Schools, West Virginia
2nd — Osgood Joshua Simpkins, Montgomery County Public Schools, Virginia
3rd — John P. Moore, Suffolk Transportation Service Inc., New York
Honorable Mention — Pauline Kish, First Student Inc., Minnesota
1st — Billy Wiseman, Kanawha County Schools, West Virginia
2nd — Russell Altizer, Montgomery County Public Schools, Virginia
3rd — Michael Graham, Cobb County School District, Georgia
Honorable Mention — Kristina Raley, Vidor Independent School District, Texas
(Note: Graham and Raley scored the same number of total points. Parallel parking time was used to decide the third-place winner.)
1st — Victor Garza, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, California
2nd — John Welsh, Lower Merion School District, Pennsylvania
3rd — Angelica Ortiz, Allen Independent School District, Texas
Honorable Mention — Joseph Goodpaster, Cabell County Schools, West Virginia
"This great event showcases excellence in school bus knowledge, maneuvering and skill,” NSTA President Tim Flood said. “We congratulate all of the winners from the state and provincial competitions and the top three winners in each vehicle category who competed."
The School Bus Driver International Safety Competition was held in conjunction with NSTA’s 51st Annual Meeting & Convention, which takes place Monday through Wednesday in Minneapolis.
Meeting attendees will hear from representatives of the Transportation Security Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, among others.
“As always, we have a great program — giving our members the latest information they need to better run their businesses,” Flood said.