County bus drivers go to the Road-E-O

County school bus drivers congregated at the University of Montevallo Traffic Safety Center April 21 to test their driving skills by weaving through a treacherous obstacle course.

The event felt like a picnic, with food catered by Texas Roadhouse, lawn chairs and plenty of sunglasses and sunscreen.

The morning of the event, Assistant Superintendent of Operations Tom Ferguson said the Bus Road-E-O offers an important chance for drivers to ensure their skills are top-notch and a chance for the school system to show appreciation for the drivers.

“It’s a good time for these drivers to get together, have a good time, laugh and enjoy each other. We look forward to this every year,” he said. “It’s just a good thing for these bus drivers because they work so hard.”

Pelham High School driver Rhonda Kendrick, who won last year’s competition, said she wanted to enjoy the event without focusing on defending her title.

“That’s the only part that makes me nervous. There’s a lot of pressure and I come out for the fun – I think that’s the whole purpose anyways. I just enjoy it,” she said.

As another driver knocked over a cone while backing up during the course, Kendrick said backing up could be the most difficult task to perform.

“Backing up is one of the hardest things we do, and we’re not supposed to do it unless we absolutely have to,” she said.

After all the scores were tallied, Sandy Hollis of the Thompson Sixth Grade Center came in first place and was the winner of a two-night stay in Panama City Beach. She will go to the state competition in June, along with second-place winner Patsy Broadhead of Montevallo High School, third-place winner Kendrick and fourth-place winner Nancy Hamm of Meadow View Elementary School.

Rounding out the Top 10, in order, were Joyce Bulford of Thompson Middle School; Butch Roberson of Creek View Elementary School; Marsha Burns of the Linda Nolen Learning Center; Kay Benson of Shelby County High School; Allison Stancil of Oak Mountain Intermediate School; and Susan Price of Calera Middle School.