(Left) Ricardo Sandoval, (middle) Juliann Scheafer, (Right) Jason Greenberg, 2017 Orange County Roadeo winners.
Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) school bus drivers Ricardo Sandoval, Juliann Scheafer and Jason Greenberg win top honors at the 57th annual Orange County School Bus Roadeo, which attracted nearly 100 drivers.
Ricardo Sandoval, who has been a school bus driver with NMUSD for four years, won first place in the county and first place overall. Juliann Scheafer was awarded third place in the county. As a team, Ricardo, Juliann and Jason placed first countywide.
NMUSD school bus drivers have been competing in the Roadeo, on and off, since 1991, and have amassed 18 first place individual wins and seven team wins at the county level.
School Bus Safety Roadeos are held across the United States and require drivers to pass a written test prior to competing in the seven behind the wheel events. The emphasis throughout the competition is safety and by design, increases safety awareness. Various Roadeos occur throughout California, leading up to the statewide competition. Drivers that perform well at the state level are invited to compete at the International Roadeo competition. Last year, NMUSD bus driver Victor Garza was awarded first place at the International Roadeo. Part of NMUSD’s success in the Roadeo can be attributed to the rigorous training program, ongoing education and testing that takes place within the district.
“Everything we do, all of the training, all of the testing is to increase safety. We want parents to know that we have some of the best drivers in the state,” said NMUSD Transportation Operations Supervisor Norm Turner.
Participation in the Roadeo is voluntary and NMUSD consistently participates and succeeds at these events. Some drivers attend the Roadeo even if they are not participating in the competition just to support their colleagues, often times cooking and volunteering at the event.
There is a proud history throughout NMUSD of providing safe and efficient school bus transportation. NMUSD is an industry leader in student transportation for a variety of reasons including maintaining clean buses in good working order, having some of the best drivers in the state, and assisting other districts implement the Bus in the Classroom student transportation safety skill training program.
NMUSD is currently hiring bus drivers! If you or someone you know is interested in joining an award-winning team of school bus drivers, please visit the job opportunities website. Drivers can start with little or no experience and through paid training get the experience and licensing necessary to become a school bus driver. Juliann Scheafer, one of this year’s award-winning Roadeo participants, began with NMUSD in 2014 with no previous experience. She received her training through NMUSD and went on to successfully compete at the state level finishing with a fourth place win within her first year.