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Derek Graham awards Tim Speer the top honor

  2009 Best School Bus Inspector Contest

Yadkin County is the employer of this year’s Best School Bus Inspector contest winner.  Tim Speer, for the second year in a row, took the top honor at the Thomas C2 plant in High Point on August 3rd. Tim is the current national bus inspector champion. He and eleven other finalists inspected three different buses that were specially "set up" by DPI consultants Craig Warren and Randy Henson.  Rick Jennings, shop foreman and former state & national inspector champion from Wilkes Co. also served as a judge.   Each bus had 10 defects to be identified in order to score points. The contestants also had to take a 40 question written test in order to qualify for the finals.

Tim, a mechanic II, has been a school bus technician for the past 10 years.  His boss, Rickey Oakes, is not surprised that Tim won. “He is a dedicated employee and places the safety of the children whom ride the buses he services as his top priority”.  Tim says “I am honored and blessed to be able to win again and I will do my best to represent NC at the nationals”.  “I am always challenged to learn something new for each of these events” remarks Tim.  He dedicates the win to his father Leo Speer who passed away this year on Father’s day.

Top 3-Jason Blackburn, Danny Reed and Tim Speer.
Eeach received a gift card provided by NCPTA. 1st-$250. 2nd-$150. 3rd-$100.

Danny Reed, a former state and national champion, finished a close second.  Danny is excited to be heading back to the nationals as the NC contestant for the technician competition. “I love being with the guys at the national competition. The best of the best will there and the camaraderie amongst all of the contestants is amazing”.  “NAPT does an excellent job putting the contest together”. 

Jason Blackburn from Wilkes Co. finished 3rd.  This is his second year in the competition.

Marc Lail - Rutherford Co.

The two top winners automatically qualify to represent NC at the America’s Best competition to be held in Greenville, S.C.  in September. 

Larry Moore from Johnston Co. is a regular at the contest

This year 30 technicians showed up for the event which was comprised of the competition, a 5 hour training workshop, and a plant tour which was graciously provided by the hosts Thomas Built Buses and Carolina Thomas. 

James Hass from Onslow Co. is another regular

A special thanks goes out to Tom Schaaf, Roy Parks, Phil Loflin and Anthony Avant for going the extra mile to help pull off this year’s competition.

The crowd anxiously awaits announcement of the winners

The top eleven…Tim Speer is missing from the picture.

The rest of the finalist…



























J. Ashley


Josh Drake from Henderson Co. checks the lights at the rear

Several contestants were surprised by the “bomb” found under a seat.
(actually a caulking tube wrapped in duct tape)

Congratulations to all 30 technicians who took place in the 2009 event. NCPTA & DPI appreciates the participation and hopes that many more will be back next year.










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