When you hear the word rodeo, school bus drivers may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Yet this past summer, Redmond School District Transportation team members saddled up and won big in the “School Bus Rodeo” hosted by the Oregon Pupil Transportation Association.
OPTA is a non profit organization dedicated to providing the students of Oregon with safe and dependable transportation. OPTA sponsors and organizes educational workshops, an annual conference and the School Bus Safety Exercise, affectionately known as the “School Bus Rodeo. Thes School Bus Safety Exercise has been going on since its inception in the early 1970s.
Redmond School District has been participating in the rodeo frequently since 1998 with drivers placing each time. This year’s exercise was attended by Dalene Frazier, Ralph Dimmitt, Cater Lopez and Neil Wilson. Combined, these four drivers have more than 13 years of experience driving school buses. The team worked diligently practicing and training for the maneuvering exercises in their buses for more than 80 hours before they traveled to Eugene for the regional and state exercises in June.
In the regional exercise, Cater Lopez took first place in the General Transit Category. Dalene Frazier placed third in the same category. And Dalene, Cater and Neil placed third overall as a team! Several weeks later, in the state competition, Ralph placed fourth in the General Conventional category! This was the first time any of these four drivers have participated in this event!
We are so proud of these drivers for their time, effort and passion for what they do. They indeed are some of the best school bus drivers in the state of Oregon! Redmond School District’s Transportation Department is planning on returning in 2020 with additional participants. With their experience from this past year they plan on being the ultra champions as the safest and best school bus drivers in the state!
(Many thanks to RSD Driver Trainer, Mat Kutcher and RSD Transportation Services Supervisor, Michelle Rainville for their contribution to this story and their leadership and support of this team!)