LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The 20th National Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo is scheduled for next March in Frisco, Texas, outside of Dallas, and fittingly two locals prepared for the event in their hometown by winning this year's event here.
Cherie Daniels and Chris Lowery of Frisco ISD tallied 910 points out of 1,000 possible to win the school bus, evacuation and student behavior skills competition, held earlier Saturday at Papa John's Cardinals Stadium near the University of Louisville campus. Sixteen teams in all participated in the event.
Daniels and Lowery won their Texas discrict, regional and state competitions to qualify for the national event, which also consisted of a written test. Both Daniels and Lowery are eight-hour a day substitute drivers for Frisco, with Daniels having 12 years of experience with the district and Cherie 12 years. Lowery has 10 years experience.
"It's all the other drivers and monitors that put up with us as we're practicing everyday," Daniels said when asked what and who she and Lowery owed the win to. "When I'm driving my school bus I'm actually verbalizing everything I'm doing so they have to put up with me talking the whole route," said Daniels. "What we do everyday."
Finishing in second place was the team of Robelyn Watson and Cynthia Wright from San Diego Unified School District with 807 points. Finishing third was the team of Sharon Brown and Marion Pingel from Van Buren ISD in Michigan with 800 points.
The premier roadeo sponsor is wheelchair securement manufacturer Q'Straint/Sure-Lok, with other sponsors being Ricon Corporation and the National Association for Pupil Transportation.
Next year's National Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo presented by School Transportation News is scheduled for March 17-18, with the skills competition hosted at Frisco ISD.