HomeDriversNSTA Announces Winners of School Bus Driver International Safety Competition

NSTA Announces Winners of School Bus Driver International Safety Competition

The National School Transportation Association announced the winners of its 50th annual School Bus Driver International Safety Competition (SBDISC), presented by Beacon Mobility in Austin, Texas.

The SBDISC consisted of a hands-on competition class, followed by a knowledge written test on June 29. The skills competition was held at the Hays Consolidated School District facility in Uhland, Texas. Participants got behind the wheel and completed a “rigorous” road course, competing in one of three categories: small bus (Type A), Conventional (Type C), or transit (Type D).

NSTA announced a partnership with Hays CISD earlier this year to use the school district’s facility as the permanent location for the annual safety competition. Previously, NSTA would hold the competition in the same city where it held its Annual Convention and Meeting, which will be held later this month in Nashville, Tennessee.

The competition is open to school bus drivers across the U.S. and Canada. To be eligible, drivers must have competed and won a state or provincial competition in their chosen school bus category within the past year. Drivers must also enter the SBDISC in the same category that he or she won at the state, regional, or provincial level. Winners are based on the highest score in each category.

Curb Line/Student Loading Zone Event during the NSTA School Bus Driver International Safety Competition in Austin, Texas, on June 30, 2024. (Photo courtesy of NSTA.)

Among the winners for Small Bus Type A include:

  • First Place: Dorthy Dorman, First Student (Kansas)
  • Second Place: Claudia Christen, Prairie Bus Lines (Alberta, Canada)
  • Third Place: Jaimes Gener, First Student (Wisconsin)

Conventional Bus (Type C)

  • First Place: Wanda VanZonnevald, Cherry Creek School District (Colorado)
  • Second Place: Becky Craig-Johnson, Lakeland Joint School District. (Idaho)
  • Third Place: Jered Winnestaffer, Community Bus Services (Ohio)

Transit Bus (Type D)

  • First Place: Mark Miller, Bellingham Public Schools (Washington)
  • Second Place: Luis Lopez, Bakersfield City School District (California)
  • Third Place: Jeremy Klung, Canyons School District (Utah)

A driver’s award banquet was held on June 30. Participants received a recognition certificate and plaque commemorating their participation.

“We are pleased that the School Bus Driver International Safety Competition has made its return in 2024, under the leadership of Bill Loshbough,” said NSTA President Dan Kobussen said. “The event allows bus drivers to demonstrate their knowledge and skills with drivers from around North America to determine which drivers are the best in their category. This iconic event provides an opportunity for school transportation to highlight itself in a competitive, but collegial, environment.”

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NSTA also horned Bill Loshbough for serving as chairman of his 50th Safety Competition, as well as Filiberto (Fili) Bonilla, the outgoing Hays CISD transportation director, “for his support in bring[ing] back the safety competition after a four-year hiatus,” a press release states.

Bonilla retired from the district and as of July 1, the new director of transportation is Cassandra Behr. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Hays CISD in offering this dynamic event. On behalf of NSTA, I want to thank Fili and Cassandra for their continued leadership and support and congratulate Cassandra on her promotion, and wish Fili well in his retirement,” NSTA Executive Director Curt Macysyn concluded.

Editor’s Note: Claudia Christen of Prairie Bus Lines’ location was updated. 

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