A safe bet: Seymour special education drivers will compete in national safety competition


Photos:


Tribune photo by Aaron Piper/ Seymour Community School bus drivers Tim Shunney and wife Melissa Shunny pose for a photo next to a bus like one they competed in, and the trophy they won competing in the Special Needs Team Bus Safety Competition in Indianapolis. The pair placed second in the competition last year, but took first place this year with hopes to place in the national level of the competition in 2013.


Tribune photo by Aaron Piper/ Seymour Community School bus drivers Tim Shunney and wife Melissa Shunny pose for a photo next to a bus like one they competed in, and the trophy they won competing in the Special Needs Team Bus Safety Competition in Indianapolis. The pair placed second in the competition last year, but took first place this year with hopes to place in the national level of the competition in 2013.


For Tim and Melissa Shunney of Seymour, driving a school bus is more than just picking up and dropping off kids. It’s a responsibility they take seriously and a job at which they want to be the best.

This summer, the husband and wife team represented Seymour Community Schools in the sixth annual Indiana Special Needs Team Safety Competition in Indianapolis, where they won first place. They will travel to Texas in March to compete at the national level.

“We’re excited to be able to represent Seymour and the state of Indiana,” Melissa Shunney said. “But we’re nervous, too.”

It’s the first time the Seymour school district has won the state event, which is sponsored by the State Transportation Association of Indiana.

The Special Needs Competition is part of the larger School Transportation Safety Competition, which is in its 16th year and tests general education bus drivers and bus mechanics.

For their performance, the Shunneys received a cash award of $225 and a trophy that will travel each year to the winning school corporation. But it’s not the money or recognition they value the most from the event, it’s the experience of learning how to do their jobs better.

“We get to meet other drivers and focus on learning,” Melissa Shunney said.

“It really helps us sharpen our skills,” Tim Shunney added.

Although Melissa Shunney is now a general education bus driver, she and her husband have worked together for several years in special education transportation, with one driving and the other serving as the aide.

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