Maine recently took home the top prize at the 18th annual National Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo, co-sponsored by School Transportation News and the National Association for Pupil Transportation in Frisco, Texas.

Drivers Lisa Gadway and Gregg McGoff from Maine School Administrative District 49 earned first place for their performance in the competition held at the Frisco Independent School District just outside of Dallas, Texas. The room erupted with applause after Alexandra Robinson, executive director of the Office of Pupil Transportation at the New York City Department of Education, announced the winners from Fairfield, located about 24 miles north of Augusta, according to a news release from Cheryl M. Brackett, MSAD 49 operations director.

Sharon Brown and Marion Pingel of the Van Buren Intermediate School District in Lawrence, Mich., came in second place, while Ronnie Willoughby and Rhonda Vaughn, who were representing the Texas Association for Pupil Transportation took home third place.

“It was close, as always,” said Robinson of the teams who placed.

Eighteen teams, each consisting of a driver and monitor from different states and districts across the country, took part in the competition, which also hosted the Roadeo in 2013. Experts in student transportation evaluated the teams’ performance in 10 different categories including wheelchair loading and securement, behavior management and emergency evacuation. There was also a written test.

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