School-bus drivers test skills in annual rodeo

Published 5:13 pm Saturday, April 25, 2009

By Staff
Lifestyles &Features Editor
How does a school bus driver help keep her student-riders safe? By garnering a perfect score on her bus-driving skills.
Jessica Speincer did just that Friday as she steered into first place during Beaufort County School’s annual school bus rodeo.
Speincer, from Northside High School in Yeatesville, was among approximately 30 school bus drivers from throughout the county who participated in the rodeo held at Washington High School.
Two bus drivers from John Cotten Taylor School in Washington were also finalists; Jimmy Ward was second and Mae Booth was third.
Last year’s winner, Carlton Roberson of Washington High School, agreed.
Keith Whitley, District 3 school bus driver field supervisor, was among the judges for Friday morning’s rodeo.
Since Beaufort County Schools has more than 100 buses, the top two rodeo finalists — Spencer and Ward — are eligible to compete on the district level, Whitley said.
That competition is scheduled for Thursday in Rocky Mount; the district’s top 10 drivers advance to the state level in June, and the state’s two top bus drivers compete for the national title in July.
But being a school bus driver isn’t all about trophies and awards, said Northeast Elementary’s Lisa Ambrose.
related photo: Jerry Wynne, right, Beaufort County Schools’ transportation director, is shown with the finalists in Friday’s school bus rodeo. They are, from left, Mae Booth, third; Jimmy Ward, second; and Jessica Speincer, first. (Contributed Photos/Sarah Hodges, BCS)