Rhonda Fiddler and Susan Nulph literally jumped for joy when they heard they took first place at the 17th annual National Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo, held March 1 during the TSD Conference and Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn.
The school bus driver and monitor duo from Cherokee County School District in Canton, Ga., were surprised and elated when they and all other contestants were honored at a banquet following the event at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, where this year's Transporting Students with Disabilities and Preschoolers Conference and Trade Show is being held. They scored a total of 833 points. The total overall possibility for the competition was 1,002 points.
This was their second consecutive year competing together. They took second place in this event last year during the TSD Conference and Trade Show in Frisco, Texas, where the event will be held once again in 2015.
Scoring just two points below Fiddler and Nulph, for a total of 831 points, were second-place winners Carolyn Wilhelm and Linda Kalmbach of Puyallup (Wash.) School District. And Holly Stouder and Russell Holdwick L’anse of Creuse Public School District in Clinton Township, Mich., took third place with a total of 815 points.
More information on the roadeo and the winners will be included in a post-event article in our upcoming April issue. See photos of the roadeo banquet and the winners on our Facebook page.
The National Special Needs Roadeo tests the skills of school bus drivers and monitors/assistants while they conduct trained procedures such as pre-check; loading and unloading an occupied wheelchair; securing students in wheelchairs and safety vests; perform during an emergency; and manage challenging student behavior. Before attending the competition, contestants complete an open-book test. The event is held on the first day of the main conference.