Weaving in and out of traffic cones.
Stopping on top of a $20 bill.
Think that sounds easy? Try doing it with an 84-passenger school bus.
That’s what a team of Bartholomew County drivers did to win a state safety competition.
Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. bus drivers AJ McKeand, Bruce Dailey and Shelia Lyle recently placed first in the General Ed Team division at the Indiana State School Bus Safety Rodeo.
Group members took written bus safety tests and navigated a school bus driving course. They combined their points to earn the honor, beating out about 40 other competitors from 14 different schools, said Monica Coburn, BCSC transportation director.
Lyle, who drives Bus 271, said the team practiced together three times over the summer by setting up their own mock driving course. She said she was looking forward to the competition.
“It’s something all drivers do to promote school bus safety,” Lyle said.
Dailey, who started driving a school bus three years ago after he retired, said he is developing relationships with his student passengers. Every day, he said, he tries to bid each child a “good morning” and ask him or her how they are doing.
At the end of the year, Dailey said the kids were kind enough to give him gift cards as going-away presents.
He said he was glad he decided to participate in the school bus rodeo this year and to promote bus safety.
“You know what? It’s fun,” Dailey said. “It’s challenging, but you learn something too.”
For their win, McKeand, Lyle and Dailey were given a plaque to hang at the BCSC transportation building. The team also has the honor of hosting the State School Bus Rodeo’s traveling trophy this year.
They’ll have the opportunity to defend their title next year.
“We’ll be back,” Lyle said.
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