ACS bus drivers compete at annual ‘Road-E-O’

MONTEVALLO- Bus drivers in the Alabaster City Schools system attended the third annual ACS School Bus Safety Road-E-O on Tuesday, April 18 at the Traffic Safety Center in Montevallo. The event was organized and led by ACS Transportation Supervisor Jeff Nichols.

“This is for safety, and to work on their skills as a driver,” Nichols said. “It’s also a chance for us to get together and give them some gifts.”

During the Road-E-O, 36 drivers used four buses to compete and were judged on various driving skills, including turns, loading students, driving in a straight line and backing up.

ACS utility driver Steve Cutler took first place. Bob Miller of Thompson High School came in second, followed by Thompson Sixth Grade Center driver David Phillips. Creek View Elementary School driver Butch Roberson came in fourth.

The top four winners were invited to attend the Alabama State Transportation Association Bus Road-E-O, which will take place in the summer at the Traffic Safety Center.

According to ACS Executive Director of Pupil Support Services Jeff Atkins, Nichols will also organize the upcoming State Road-E-O.

“Jeff Nichols does a great job of running this, so much so, that he was asked to run the state competition,” Atkins said. “It goes to show how much they respect his level of organization and his commitment to doing things right.”

Several bus drivers said the event gave them the opportunity to get to know one another and receive recognition for their hard work.

“We tend to recognize each other by our bus numbers instead of by name,” Jeannie Sanders said.

“The only time we get to see each other is when we’re driving by each other and we wave,” Haley Keller added.

Katrina Justice said she looks has participated in every Road-E-O that ACS has held, and she looks forward to it each year.

“It’s so much fun. I love it, and I love working for Alabaster City Schools,” Justice said. “I just prayed and hoped that I wasn’t the ‘cone killer’–the person who knocks over the most cones.”

After the Bus Road-E-O, drivers received gifts and prizes, ate lunch and congratulated the top four winners at an awards ceremony.