FRISCO, Texas — Logan Heckathorn and Stuart Stutzman tallied 881 out of a possible 972 points to capture their first TSD Roadeo championship. And they didn’t have to commute far to do it.
The two bus drivers hail from nearby Plano ISD, located about 20 minutes from Frisco ISD, which hosted the annual training and skills competition for special needs drivers and attendants on Saturday.
It was the third time in the last four years a team from Texas won the TSD Roadeo. Cherie Daniels and Chris Lowery of Frisco ISD finished first in 2016 and 2017. Shari Fulner and Anna Webb of Brownsburg Community School Corporation in Indiana won last year.
Heckathorn and Stutzman won the Texas state roadeo last year in Corpus Christi to qualify for their first-ever TSD Roadeo experience. The duo, who are both drivers for Plano ISD, attributed the victory to hard work, teamwork and on-the-job experience.
“We’ve been told our routes at Plano are two of the toughest special needs routes, his is definitely the toughest,” said Heckathorn, giving further credit to Stutzman.
Added Stutzman, “The whole purpose of the roadeo is to teach teamwork. “I think we work so well together as a team. And this makes us better.”
The two men said they’d like to try and defend their championship next year, when the TSD Conference returns to Frisco, March 20-25, 2020. But first thing first.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” Stutzman added.
Fellow Texans Jan Miller and Matt Martin of Comal ISD finished second, followed by the third-place team of Shana Wickline of Lake Washington School District (east of Seattle) and Cindi Boyle of Frisco ISD. Wickline’s original teammate was unable to travel to the event, so she was instead partnered with Boyle.
In addition to traditional state-sponsored teams next year, Alexandra Robinson of roadeo organizer Women in Transportation (WIT) said the roadeo will allow participants to register for as individuals. They will then be paired onsite with their teammates. The move is designed to encourage more team participation.
Robinson also announced that WIT and School Transportation News, are offering scholarships for future roadeos to teams that want to compete, but otherwise couldn’t without financial help. Details will be released later this year.
Editor’s Note: The original version of this article incorrectly listed the 2018 roadeo championship team and misspelled Logan Heckathorn’s name. STN regrets these errors.