COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jeremiah Bradberry of Cobb County School District near Atlanta won the America’s Best Technician award while Bryce Ivie of the Utah Highway Patrol was named America’s Best Inspector at the National Association for Pupil Transportation Summit.
Larry Horton of East Peoria School District in Illinois and Michael Brewer of Carmel Unified School District in California finished second and third respectively in the technician competition. Craig Baker of Wilkes County Schools in North Carolina came in second place in the inspector competition while Michael Schreiner of Apple Valley Unified School District in California was third.
America’s Best organizer Joe Scesny said this year’s scores were better than those of years past. This was 14th year of the competition and the third consecutive held in conjunction with the NAPT Summit.
“(This) shows the level of competition as increased," said Scesny. "The amount of defects found were greater than in years past."
Twenty-four participants from 17 states competed this year as well as received training. Saturday was dedicated to training from Thomas Built Buses, Meritor Brakes, Leece-Neville, Michelin Tire, and SynTec Seating Solution. Participants also received training on accident investigations, pre-trip inspections and took ASE school bus certification tests.
Scesny added that ASE said test scores were higher this year. One technician only got three questions wrong, and another got four wrong.
Sunday consisted of the hands-on competition at Columbus City Schools’ fleet services facility. Scesny said the event benefitted from returning to an actual school bus garage. Inspector participants took the America’s Best test on site as they were charged with identifying defects on school buses while technicians set out to fix them.
Shaefer Oil and Rosco Vision Systems also provided training on Sunday at the school district.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Craig Baker and Michael Schreiner finished second and third, respectively in the technician's category. The latest version correctly states they competed as inspectors. STN regrets any confusion caused.