Familiar Name Heads List of School Bus Driver International Safety Competition Winners


Larry Hannon won his seventh School Bus Driver International Safety Competition trophy at 40th annual event sponsored by the National School Transportation Association.

Larry Hannon, left, receives his champion yellow jacket from NSTA President Donnie Fowler for winning the conventional school bus category at the School Bus Driver International Safety Competition on July 24 in St. Louis.

Michelle Schurz, a First Student driver in Grand Junction, Colo., finished in second place. [Editor’s note – an initial report indicated Schurz and Hannon tied, based on preliminary results from NSTA].

A total of 109 participants from 34 states and one province vied for the top spot in three categories, the conventional, transit and small bus categories, at the event in St. Louis on July 24. Hannon, an employee at Centennial School District in Warminster, Pa., won last year’s conventional class by only two points, beating out George Soverns of Rittenhouse Bus Lines, Inc., in Smock, Pa. This year, he extended the winning margin to 27 points.

He also lead all participants in all categories with 597 total points. The competitoin included 12 graded activities including a written exam and maneuvers like off-set alley, a railroad cross, student load, and back-up alley.

It was the 27th appearance for Hannon at the International Safety Competition during his 34-year school bus career.

Finishing third behind Hannon and Schurz was Debra Kay L’Abbe of First Student in Wonder Lake, Ill.

The transit trophy went to Mark Miller of Bellingham (Wash.) Public Schools. Tyler Reynolds of Virginia Beach Public Schools finished second, and Tracy Brown, also of First Student’s Grand Junction, Colo., operations came in third.

Meanwhile, Richard Hall of Floyd County Schools in Allen, Ky., won the small bus category ahead of Danny Ridel of Marysville Joint Unified School District in Yuba City, Calif., and Janet Ruth Turner of Greater Albany Public Schools in Albany, Ore.

Winners received yellow jackets. Final scores were not available from NSTA at this writing.