NEWS RELEASES 2016-17 :: MAY 31, 2017


Twenty-nine of the state’s best school bus drivers spent last Thursday navigating a big yellow school bus through an obstacle course that tested their skills in mastering a diminishing clearance, backing, making a tight turn and parallel parking. When all was said and done, Hertford County school bus driver Eric Turner was named the best of the best winning the state’s annual School Bus ROADeo held at the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

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

  • Boyce Chapman (Cabarrus County Schools);
  • Mitch Banner (Avery County Schools);
  • Erik Edwards (Pitt County Schools);
  • Alex Jasinski (Nash-Rocky Mount Schools);
  • Chris Owens (Clinton City Schools);
  • Keith Purnell (Vance County Schools);
  • George Ketchum (Carteret County Schools);
  • John Corder (Watauga County Schools); and
  • Imran Joseph (Onslow County Schools).

“More than 13,000 school buses transport nearly 800,000 students to and from school each day,” North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Transportation Services Section Chief Kevin Harrison said. “While school bus drivers face many challenges on the road each day, the drivers who competed in this year’s School Bus ROADeo demonstrated that they – and their colleagues – have the skills and training needed to navigate those challenges and transport students safely to and from school.”

Turner received a $300 cash prize and will represent North Carolina in the international school bus driving competition to be held this summer in Indianapolis, Indiana. The 2nd through 5th place finishers received $200, $100, $50 and $50, respectively. Sixth through 10th place finishers each won $25.

Twenty-nine school bus drivers participated in the final testing and driving competition to name the top school bus driver in North Carolina. Twenty-seven of the drivers advanced to the state finals by placing in the top 10 of their regional competition.

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

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.