A judge measures how closely a bus is stopped at a stop sign

CALHOUN, GA – After a hiatus due to the recent pandemic, 46 Gordon County Schools (GCS) bus drivers showed off their driving skills during the school system’s 27th Annual School Bus Rodeo. 

Held at the David A. Holland Operations Center, GCS bus drivers competed in 9 different challenges of varying difficulty. Drivers were tasked with navigating the course, where they had to expertly overcome challenges and driving situations that they encounter on a daily basis while running their routes to and from their respective schools. Some of the challenges included in the contest were diminishing clearance, forward serpentine, offset alley, stop line and straight line.

A description of some of the events included in the contest:

  • Diminishing Clearance: The contestant was required to drive the bus in a straight line as the clearance narrows, testing their ability to judge both position of their bus and speed.
  • Forward Serpentine: This challenge was used to measure a contestant’s ability to maneuver their bus through a pattern of strategically aligned cones.
  • Offset Alley: Drivers were required to pass their buses evenly and squarely through two parallel but offset sequences of obstacles, and while exiting the first must prepare to get the bus aligned to successfully navigate the second.
  • Stop Line: The driver was judged on how close they bring the bus to a stop line without having the bumper on top of or cross over the line.
  • Straight Line: The driver must navigate the bus in a straight line, where the passenger side tires must stay in between two tennis balls for the duration of the event.  

After completing all 9 challenges, drivers met to enjoy food and fellowship while points were tallied from the course. Drivers, volunteers, and guests enjoyed raffle prizes, graciously donated by local sponsors. Once the last raffle prize was drawn, the top ten drivers were announced.

10th place: Douglas Lee

9th place: Pam Brown

8th place: Cathy Williams

7th place: Kristi Keithley

6th place: Kelli Mock

5th place: Kendra Gubachi

4th place: Judy Patterson

3rd place: Hannah Young

2nd place: Janice Nix

Securing the first-place position, trophy, and prizes was GCS driver Tabitha Mckie!

Gordon County Schools Transportation is looking forward to continuing to host the annual event and is thankful for the many volunteers and community sponsors for making this event possible.

Volunteers for the event were: Brandon Williams, Brent Darnell, Billy Andrews, Jonathan Parker, Donald Bowen, Geary Cooper, Tim Evans, John Rainwater, David Yarborough, Diane Yarborough, Mark Bramlett, Scott Hammock, Todd Simpson, Aaron King, and Chad Phillips.

Sponsors for the event were: Jacob’s Well, Booth Western Art Museum, Calhoun Recreation, Harris Art Center, Calhoun Bowling Center, Tennessee Aquarium, Gem Theatre, Creative Discovery Museum, Rome Braves, Cracker Barrell, The Calhoun Times, Valvoline Express, Home Depot, Tony’s Tires, Express Signs & Graphics, Big Shot Fireworks, Belwood Nursery, Food City, Ginger Fox Floyd, Mulkey Auto Repair, Denise Coleman, Advance Auto Parts, Calhoun Farm Supply, The Flower Shop, Ace Hardware, Christian and Jakes, NAPA, Stroll & Shine, Guacamole’s Bar & Grill, El Nopal, Food Lion, Bowman’s Longhorn Steakhouse, Taco House, Wholesale Foods, Zaxby’s, Fairmount Poultry, Merle Norman, Mother Nature’s Eden, Pete’s Music City, Nance Carpet, Applebees, Dub’s BBQ, Dukes, Hardees, Taco Bell, Sonic, Chick-Fil-A, Robinson’s Tires, Yancey Bus Sales, Coca Cola Bottling Company, Jet Oil, Biddle Recycling, Mauldin Trash Inc., Matthews & Parlo, Fair’s Auto Service & Repair, Bargain Hunt, Kroger, Little Ceasar, Max Brannon’s Funeral Home, Best Drive Tires, Walden Hauling, Basic Material, Ruby Falls, Blue Ridge Railway, O’Reily Auto Parts, Goodyear Tires, Chattanooga Zoo, Auto Zone, Ashton Furniture, Coast to Coast, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Red Bud Elementary, Red Bud Middle, Sonoraville Elementary, Sonoraville High, Belwood Elementary, Gordon Central High, Tolbert Elementary, Fairmount Elementary, AdventHealth Gordon, Keller Williams Realty, Big Springs Water, Southern Creamery, Dairy Queen, Star Paper Supplies, Design Center, and Reeves Hardware.


About Gordon County Schools
Gordon County Schools system serves approximately 6,500 students in schools across the county including six elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. The mission of the Gordon County School system is to build a collaborative culture that engages all students and staff in learning experiences leading to growth, empowerment, and transformation. 

Contact at Gordon County Schools:
Kendra Pannell
Communications Coordinator
Email: kpannell@gcbe.org 
Phone: (706) 629-7366 ext. 8151 
Website: www.gcbe.org