A Seaman School District bus driver proves her expertise behind the wheel

TOPEKA, Kan, (WIBW) -- Seaman School District bus driver Kristine Abernathy joined six other drivers in the district to compete in the state’s annual school bus safety competition.

“I just didn’t expect to place with so many competitors,” she said.

Kristine, who has been a bus driver for 20 years, competed as a rookie and placed second overall.

“It made me honored to be part of the district and bring home what I could for our district and it’s not just a district it’s a family,” she said.

Competitors took a written test and were evaluated on their driving skills.

“They are on a precision course which is very tight compared to what they would drive out on the roads. So it makes them utilize their mirrors, and mirrors is a big aspect of driving one of these large vehicles,” Safety Training Supervisor Clinton Peppers explained.

They are also give scores based on the safety of their bus and students.

“We have to make sure that our bus has got all the safety equipment and that we’re maintaining speed that’s out there and just making sure everybody is sitting the correct way,” Kristine said.

Although the competition was overwhelming at times, Kristine said she enjoyed doing what she loves.

“You just gotta relax and just enjoy yourself. Have fun. The main thing is it’s all about learning,” Kristine said.

She’s happy to have made everyone proud including her students.

“They think it’s awesome, and they have the best bus driver,” she added.

The Seaman School District is holding a job fair at the high school on June 26th for anyone who is interested in becoming a school bus driver.

Participants will be able to test drive a bus, and learn more about the job.