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NEWS RELEASES 2007-08

NEWS RELEASES 2007-08 :: MAY 20, 2008

ONSLOW COUNTY SCHOOL BUS DRIVER TAKES TOP HONORS;
DURHAM COUNTY TEAM WINS SPECIAL NEEDS TEAM SAFETY ROADeo

Onslow County Public Schools' Bus Driver Angelo Caputo took top honors and a check for $1,000 in the 2008 School Bus Driving Competition (ROADeo), a testing and driving competition that showcased the state's best bus drivers. The Durham Public Schools' team of Denise Prince and Joan Thompson drove away with first place and a check for $300 each in the Special Needs Team Safety ROADeo, a competition that allowed teams to demonstrate their student management and care giving skills.

Last Thursday, school bus drivers from across the state gathered at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh to demonstrate their skill and professionalism at the annual School Bus Driving Competition. Two competitions made up the School Bus Driving Competition: the State ROADeo Finals and the Special Needs Team Safety ROADeo.

At the State ROADeo Finals, 48 school bus drivers participated in final testing and driving competitions to be the state's top school bus driver. In addition to the cash prize, Caputo will represent North Carolina at the International School Bus Driving Competition to be held this summer in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Wake County Schools' bus driver Billy McKemey received a check for $500 for second place and Cabarrus County Schools' bus driver William Bost received a check for $400 for taking third. Other winners were: fourth place ($300) Bill Faison, Union County Schools; fifth place ($200), Noah Wolfe, Cherokee Indian Reservation; sixth place ($100), Chris Owens, Sampson County Schools; seventh place ($100), Arthur Herring, Wayne County Schools; eighth place ($100), Byron Lanier, Wake County Schools; ninth place ($100), Bryan Perry, Franklin County Schools; and 10th place ($100), Jeffrey Mellen, Wake County Schools.

In the Special Needs Team Safety ROADeo, nine teams – each comprised of a school bus driver and a school safety attendant – competed in driving skills and demonstrated their student management and care giving skills. Students that ride the buses driven by these drivers often travel in wheel chairs, use specialized equipment or require special medical care. In addition to their $600 prize, Prince and Thompson will represent North Carolina at the national competition being held in March 2009 in Indianapolis, Ind. The Wake County Public Schools' team of Matthew Monk and Tonya McNeil took second place and received a check for $200 each, and the Durham Public Schools' team of Tamara Clemons and Bobbie Lancaster took third place and received a check for $150 each.

Other drivers that advanced from the regional competitions to the State ROADeo finals were: Merle Cooke, Tonya Ledford and Susan Gentry, Buncombe County Schools; Toni Yow and Kerry Case, Cabarrus County Schools; Darius Torian, Chapel-Hill/Carrboro City Schools; Tonya Jenkins and Traci Robinson, Cumberland County Schools; Deirdre Honaker, Davidson County Schools; Chad Dalton, Davie County Schools; Jonathan Dixon and Benny Weaver, Durham Public Schools; Walter Nail and Sandra Gray, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools; Jody Paulk and Julie Summer, Gaston County Schools; Charles Howell, Graham County Schools; Eric Turner, Hertford County Schools; Pamela Young, Iredell-Statesville Schools; Leigh Arch and Valerie Morgan, Johnston County Schools; Elizabeth Byrd, Lincoln County Schools; Carol Hensley, Madison County Schools; Lisa Lentz, McDowell County Schools; Wayne Petteway and Faron Gurganus, Onslow County Schools; Mindy Lockhart, Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Schools; Rebecca Brady, Randolph County Schools; Martha Bullard, Public Schools of Robeson County; Ray Huss, Rowan-Salisbury Schools; Billy Dobbsin and Tim Burton, Surry County Schools; Mary Jane Eudy and Wesley Williams, Union County Schools; Stephanie High, Wake County Schools; Cecil Harmon, Watauga County Schools; and James Shepard, Wayne County Schools.

Also competing in the Special Needs Transportation ROADeo were: Duncan Spears and Angel Smith, Cabarrus County Schools; Lyle Woods and Melissa Oullette, Cumberland County Schools; Georgia Crocker and Jan Rhodes, Johnston County Schools; Cindy Rawls and Karen Wallace, Onslow County Schools; John Corey and Trina Cox, Pitt County Schools; and Rosa Huffin and Mary Ann Grimsley, Wake County Schools.

For more information about the School Bus Driving Competition, please contact the NCDPI's Communications division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 107 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communications and Information, 919.807.3450.