A central Alberta school bus driver took home the top prize at the annual Provincial School Bus Roadeo.
Winner Kelly Frere, with Chinook’s Edge School Division, drives a bus route in Penhold.
She also works as an educational assistant at Penhold Crossing Secondary School, a senior driving instructor for Chinook’s Edge, and as the S Endorsement ‘Train the Trainer’ for Central/Southern Alberta.
A total of 50 drivers from across Alberta had to qualify at the local level to compete in the event recently held in Nisku, which is hosted by the Alberta Student Transportation Advisory Council.
“I couldn’t be more proud and excited for Kelly, but also for our division. This is the first time a driver from Chinook’s Edge has won!” said Corinne Varga, transportation director for Chinook’s Edge in a statement.
“This is the tenth time Kelly has qualified to compete at the provincial level and she has placed very high several times in past. She is a very skilled driver and works hard everyday – she is so deserving of this recognition!”
The competition involves an intense written component, followed by a series of technical diving skills that include student loading, railway crossings, diminishing clearance, and other challenges.
“Kelly has 22 years of experience behind her, with both Prairie Bus Lines and Chinook’s Edge, so we are all very aware of how talented she is,” Varga said.
“We are proud of all our bus drivers. They all engage in S Endorsement and other refresher courses, and we hold regular professional development opportunities to enhance different driving techniques. Our drivers are always learning and they are highly skilled professionals. That creates a high level of safety for our students and communities.”