NYSBCA Announces Top Finishers in this year’s School Bus Safety Competition

Latham, N.Y. – The New York School Bus Contractors Association (NYSBCA) announced today the top finishers in the 44th Annual New York State School Bus Safety Competition, held Saturday, May 16th at Rockland Lake State Park in Valley Cottage, N.Y.

“Early rain didn’t put a damper on what proved to be an outstanding day of competition.  All of these drivers exhibited incredible skill and attention to detail as their driving skills were put to the ultimate test,” said New York School Bus Contractors Association President Bob Pape.  “Not only are they the best-of-the best, they demonstrated what matters most to all of us involved in pupil transportation providers – putting student safety first.”

More than 100 drivers took part in the competition.  Each competed in a specific school bus division, from large (type C and D) buses to smaller (type A) vans. 

The day began with a written exam on school bus safety, and then went throughout the afternoon with driver’s testing their skills in a variety of hands-on situations from vehicle inspection, to loading and unloading students, to turning and stopping, railroad crossings and more.  

Here are this year’s winners in each category:

Conventional Bus (Type C):

1st  – Mitchell Mattison – Monticello CSD
2nd – Vicki DelVecchio – First Student, Pine Bush
3rd – Cheryl Wyman – Monticello CSD
4th – Robert Tomassi - Chestnut Ridge Transportation, Hillburn
5th – Joanne Wright - Baumann   

Small Bus/Van (Type A):

1st – John Moore - Suffolk Transportation
2nd – James J. Baumer, WE Transport
3rd – Djymi Aide – Chestnut Ridge Transportation, Spring Valley
4th – Lakisha Thomas - Baumann
5th – Donna Brown – Suffolk Transportation

Type D:

1st – Manuel Beltran – Croton Harmon School District
2nd – Bill Vivian – First Student, Rochester
3rd – Daniel Farley – Quality Bus Service
4th – Thor Hendrickson – Durham School Services
5th – Jose Torres – WE Transport

Rookie of the year:

Lakisha Thomas - Baumann

 “The drivers who competed are to be commended, not just for taking part in the event, but for the work they do each and every day in bringing our kids to school safely,” Pape concluded.  “The winners, and drivers who finished near the top, set an example for other drivers to follow by raising the bar for safe student transportation.”

The winners can choose to participate in the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) International School Bus Safety Competition in Minneapolis, MN on July 18th & 19th or the New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) Safety Competition in Albany, N.Y. on July 11th.

Transportation, buses and equipment were provided by:  Chappaqua Transportation, First Student, The Trans Group, Quality Bus Service, Rolling V and Suffolk Transportation.  

About the New York School Bus Contractors Association: The Association is an organization representing over one hundred school transportation companies, also known as school bus contractors, with the primary mission of promoting safe, reliable and cost-effective student transportation services in New York State.  For more information visit: www.nysbca.com