NEWS RELEASES 2012-13 :: MAY 21, 2013


After navigating a big yellow school bus through an obstacle course that tested drivers' skills in mastering a diminishing clearance, backing, making a tight turn and parallel parking, Charles Mantie (Jones County Schools) was named the best school bus driver in North Carolina at the annual State School Bus ROADeo held today in Raleigh.

The other top nine drivers in the competition in order of finish from 2nd to 10th place were:

  • Byron Lanier (Wake County Schools)
  • Heather Bailey (Rowan County Schools)
  • Chris Owens (Sampson County Schools)
  • Richard Davis (Buncombe County Schools)
  • Eric Edwards (Pitt County Schools)
  • Jeffrey Mellen (Wake County Schools)
  • Kathy Broadway (Davie County Schools)
  • Michael Cunningham (Durham Public Schools)
  • Danny Williams (Public Schools of Robeson County)

Mantie received a $500 cash prize and a trip to represent the state in the national school bus driving competition to be held this summer in Tulsa, Okla. The 2nd through 5th place finishers received $400, $300, $200 and $100, respectively. Sixth through 10th place finishers won $50.

A total of 48 school bus drivers participated in the final testing and driving competition to name the top school bus driver in North Carolina.  Each of the 48 contestants advanced to the state finals by placing in the top 10 of a regional competition.  Most regional participants also advanced through a local ROADeo sponsored by their local school system.

In North Carolina, the students who ride one of the state's 13,400 school buses contribute to a statewide community savings of $247 million. The nation's school bus system takes approximately 17.3 million cars off the roads surrounding schools every morning and helps to save $6 billion, more than 2 billion gallons of fuel and 44.6 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

The North Carolina Pupil Transportation Association, the Division of Motor Vehicles, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's Transportation Services Section and Wake County Public School System's Transportation Department sponsor the annual State School Bus ROADeo.

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.