Maine team drives away champions of national bus roadeo

Lisa Gadway and Gregg McGoff from the Fairfield-based MSAD 49 recently earned first place for their performance in the 18th Annual National Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo, held at the Frisco Independent School District just outside of Dallas, TX. Eighteen teams consisting of a driver and monitor from 11 states competed in the 2015 roadeo, which is co-sponsored by the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) and STN Media, publishers of School Transportation News magazine.

“Lisa and Gregg always set a shining example for their peers and are a true team of winners in every sense of the word,” stated Alexandra Robinson, M.Ed., CDPT, roadeo event coordinator. “Their energy, communications skills and commitment to education set them apart from the others and should make their districts, peers, supervisors, and of course the State of Maine, very proud.”

Designed to recognize excellence and an unparalleled commitment to the safe and compassionate transportation of students needing specialized transportation, the National Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo is an annual event where driver-attendant teams learn, practice and fine-tune skills in a competitive environment.

“Lisa and Gregg are compassionate, competent professionals that care deeply about and take great pride in their work,” said NAPT Executive Director Michael Martin. “They exemplify the best our industry has to offer.”

Prior to participation in the roadeo, teams must collaboratively complete an extensive written exam testing their knowledge of laws, rules and regulations concerning the transportation of students with specialized transportation needs. Then, the teams participate in a hands-on competition consisting of:

  • A comprehensive pre-service vehicle and equipment inspection
  • Carefully and successfully navigating a Type A school bus through an obstacle course
  • Loading, unloading and securing students in wheelchairs
  • Behavior management of students with special needs
  • Properly and promptly evacuating a Type A school bus in an emergency situation

A panel of experts evaluates each team’s performance, assigning a score at each hands-on work station.  Afterward, the scores are compiled and the teams placing first, second and third are recognized with plaques, donated by Sure-Lok/Q’Straint, two of the most respected and well-known brands in the transportation of students with special needs.

Gadway and McGoff previously participated in this event and finished as high as third in 2011.

Gadway recently left MSAD 49 to work for the South Portland School Department as Director of Transportation. McGoff still drives for MSAD 49.

The National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and developing world-class professionals who provide safe and efficient pupil transportation for our nation’s children. Founded in 1977, NAPT provides communication, leadership, education, advocacy and resources to the nationwide network of over 600,000 people who safely and successfully transport more than 25 million children to and from school and school-related activities every school day.

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