RENO — Dave Deborde of Douglas County School District was the overall winner of the 35th Annual Nevada School Bus Safety Roadeo held Saturday in the parking lot of the Grand Sierra Resort in conjunction with the first day of the STN EXPO.
Deborde was named "Top Gun" for the 517 points out of 750 possible that she secured in winning the transit bus competition. He was one of the 70 drivers from around the state who competed inthe roadeo, which encourages enhanced training of drivers and provides public awareness of the safety benefits of the yellow bus. The school bus drivers represented 10 Nevada school districts and one Native American tribe. Winners were announced at a banquet held Saturday evening at the Grand Sierra Resort. This year's Nevada roadeo was open to certified state school bus drivers currently employed by school districts, private schools and charter schools, who have not had a preventable accident since July 1, 2012.
Tricia Dean of Nye County School District finished in second place in the transit division with 488 points and Frank Alalorre of Nye County School District came in third with 485 points.
Other categories judged were the conventional bus and mini bus divisions. Amy Pauly of Carson City School District won the conventional bus category with 480 out of a possible 700 points, narrowly outpacing second-place finisher Tiny Hickles of Churchill County School District, who had 475 points. Walfrido Ponce de Leon of Clark County School District in the Las Vegas area came in third place. Meanwhile, Lisa Light of Storey County School District won the mini division with 466 points followed by Kasey Steiner of Washoe County School District with 455 points and Stena Dowling of Churchill County School District with 452 points.
The winners of the three divisions won $100 each, and Deborder received an additional $100 as "Top Gun."
Clark County School District won the overall high score with 4,229 combined points (the district had the most drivers entered in the competition) and Chris Mulhern of Washoe County School District won the driving competition for supervisors and also received $100.
The roadeo scored 14 categories, including a written exam on general knowledge of operating a school bus and a vehicle inspection written test. Actual school bus maneuverson the course included student loading, diminishing clearance, off-set alley, railroad crossing, back-up alley, parallel parking, right turn and a surprise event. Ted Bates of Douglas County School District won $100 for placing the front dual wheels closet to a fake $100 bill placed on the ground.
The roadeo was hosted by the Lyon County and Pyramid Lake school districts.
The state of Nevada buses approximately 125,000 students each day using a fleet of 2,500 school buses, the majority of which run in and around Washoe or Clark counties. School transportation representatives from both school districts are again among this year's STN EXPO faculty.
In addition to School Transportation News, the roadeo was sponsored by: Auto Safety House, the Nevada dealer for Thomas Built Buses; Bryson Sales & Service, the Nevada dealer for Blue Bird; wheelchair securement manufacturers Q'Straint/Sure-Lok; Seon Mobile Surveillance; Webasto engine heaters; Zonar Systems electronic fleet management; R.O. Bus Sales; On-Spot Automatic Tire Chains; American Truck and Trailer; and Diamond Diesel.