NEWS RELEASES 2013-14 :: AUGUST 5, 2013


Ralph Trango (Wake County Schools) knows a thing or two about bus safety. He works hard to make sure thousands of students riding the big yellow buses make it to and from school safely. He loves his job and is good at it. So good, he recently took the top prize in the bus safety inspector competition at the North Carolina Pupil Transportation Association (NCPTA) Conference held in July. He, along with runner up Danny Reed (Beaufort County Schools) will represent North Carolina at the National Association for Pupil Transportation bus safety inspector competition held September 24-27 in Seattle, Wa.

"Bus inspectors have one of the most critical jobs in our school districts," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "We are proud of the competition winners and grateful to all of North Carolina's dedicated inspectors for the important work they do to keep our students safe."

The NCPTA and the Governor's Highway Safety Program sponsored the event, in which 26 contestants began the competition by taking a written test on bus safety. From these scores, the top 12 contestants were selected to compete in the on-site bus inspection challenge. Finalists inspected three "rigged" buses, provided by Brunswick County Schools, for defects. For his state win, Trango received $500, a paid trip to the national competition and a Kawasaki cordless drill.

"It has been tough. Beating some of the best, Danny Reed and Tim Speer, both former national champs, made it that much sweeter. I hope to carry on the winning tradition of North Carolina with three national champs since 2005." said Trango.

Trango will represent the state in the inspector competition. Reed will compete in the diagnostics competition, which involves troubleshooting a variety of challenges dealing with correcting defects related to school buses.

This isn't Trango's first time representing North Carolina in the national competition. In previous years, he has won the second place prize in the technician competition. He looks forward to the national competition, and is hopeful for a North Carolina win.

"Ralph is a very strong competitor with previous national competition experience and I expect he will do well in Washington." said Randy Henson, coordinator of the NCPTA competition.

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About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 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 Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.