School bus drivers put safety first

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The Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) hosted the 56th annual “School Bus Safety Roadeo” on March 12, welcoming bus drivers from surrounding school districts to put their skills to the test.

The event is sponsored annually by the Orange County Driver Trainer Advisory Council, but this marks the first year it was held at GGUSD.  More than 40 bus drivers participated in the competition, including drivers from Orange County School Districts, Los Angeles Unified School District and Snowline Joint Unified School District.

The Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) hosted the 56th annual “School Bus Safety Roadeo” on March 12, welcoming bus drivers from surrounding school districts to put their skills to the test.

The event is sponsored annually by the Orange County Driver Trainer Advisory Council, but this marks the first year it was held at GGUSD.  More than 40 bus drivers participated in the competition, including drivers from Orange County School Districts, Los Angeles Unified School District and Snowline Joint Unified School District.

Contestants participated in written and driving performance tests, including an obstacle course that tested safe maneuverability as well as tests that examined parallel parking and backing up skills.

“GGUSD bus drivers participate in regular training and safety certification programs, and the Bus Roadeo provided them another opportunity to fine-tune their skills,” said Rick Nakano, district assistant superintendent of business services.  “Our drivers do a fantastic job transporting our most precious cargo each and every day and perform their jobs with impeccable safe driving skills.”

The district took home the award for best represented with 12 contestants.  GGUSD drivers took home several individual and team awards including: Jose Navarro, first place in Orange County; Shannon Lauricella, fifth place in Orange County; and Mauricio Jiles, second place novice in Orange County.  GGUSD drivers also won Orange County second place team with Jose Navarro, Sandy Obregon and Kim Dailey as well as Orange County third place team with David Hernandez, Mauricio Jiles and Shannon Lauricella.

More than 65 GGUSD volunteers came out to support the event.