Wake County Schools' Bus Driver Billy McKemey took top honors and a check for $1,000 in the State ROADeo Finals, a testing and driving competition that showcased the state's best bus drivers. A Cleveland County Schools' team, Carol Parker and Pat McDonald, drove away with first place and a check for $600 in the Special Needs Team Safety ROADeo, a competition that allowed teams to demonstrate their student management and care giving skills.
On Wednesday, school bus drivers from across the state gathered at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh to demonstrate their skill and professionalism at the annual School Bus Driving Competition. Two competitions made up the School Bus Driving Competition: the State ROADeo Finals and the Special Needs Team Safety ROADeo.
At the State ROADeo Finals, 48 school bus drivers participated in final testing and driving competitions to be the state's top school bus driver. In addition to the cash prize, McKemey will represent North Carolina in the national school bus driving competition to be held this summer in Lake Tahoe, Calif. Cherokee Reservation School Bus Driver Noah Wolfe received a check for $500 for second place and Wake County Schools' Bus Driver Jeffrey Mellen received a check for $400 for taking third. Other winners were: fourth place ($300), Chris Owens, Sampson County Schools; fifth place ($200), Christopher Baron, Buncombe County Schools; sixth place ($100), Keith Craven, Randolph County Schools; seventh place ($100), Sharon Miller, Davie County Schools; eighth place ($100), David Corbin, Onslow County Schools; ninth place ($100), Tracy Sexton, Rowan-Salisbury Schools; and 10th place ($100), Dennis Crisp, Graham County Schools.
In the Special Needs Team Safety ROADeo, 11 teams, each comprised of a school bus driver and a school safety attendant, competed in driving skills and demonstrated their student management and care giving skills. Students that ride the buses driven by these drivers often travel in wheel chairs, use specialized equipment or require special medical care. In addition to its $600 prize, Parker and McDonald will represent North Carolina at the national competition being held in March 2007 in Louisville, Ky. A Durham Public Schools' team, Denise Prince and Joan Thompson, took second place and received a check for $400, and a Randolph County Schools' team, Teresa Wall and Sue Garner, took third place and received a check for $300.
Other drivers that advanced from the regional competitions to the State ROADeo finals were: John Gore, Brunswick County Schools; Frank Manley III, and Adrian Pearson, Buncombe County Schools; Shannon Tretow, Clark Ware, and Sandra White, Cabarrus County Schools; Lynn Bowen and Kathy Bridges, Cleveland County Schools; Lisa Moore, Columbus County Schools; Danny Wynegat, Dare County Schools; Darrell Bordeaux and Deirdre Honaker, Davidson County Schools; Jonathan Dixon, Durham Public Schools; Bryan Perry, Franklin County Schools; Cindy Childers, Janet Ham, and Jody Paulk, Gaston County Schools; Daniel Ervin, Granville County Schools; Joseph Williams, Hyde County Schools; Laura Caldwell, Lincoln County Schools; Carol Hensley, Madison County Schools; Leroy Payton, Moore County Schools; Cynthia Poole, Mooresville Graded School District; Melaina Atkins, Mount Airy City Schools; Faron Gurganus and Zara Marshburn, Onslow County Schools; Wendy Flowers, Randolph County Schools; Sharon Doby, Rowan-Salisbury Schools; Fermon Bostick, Vance County Schools; Cleveland Kingsberry, Byron Lanier and Pam Tingen, Wake County Schools; Richard Custer, James Jones and James Shepard, Wayne County Schools; and Matt Carter, Herbert Liles, and Ken Nail, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
Also competing in the Special Needs Transportation ROADeo were: Gaston County Schools, Cumberland County Schools (two teams), Orange County Schools, Dare County Schools, Wake County Schools (two teams), and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
For more information about the School Bus Driving Competition, please contact the NCDPI's Communications division at 919.807.3450.