RATHDRUM, Idaho — A Lakeland School District bus driver has been named the best driver in Idaho four times now and will soon be going to the international skills competition for school bus drivers.
Yes, there are state and international skills competitions for school bus drivers and Becky Craig-Johnson has been to the international competition seven times before.
“I take this job so seriously,” Craig-Johnson said. “I really love it.”
Her job not only manages dozens of rowdy little ones seated on the bus but also ensures drivers know how to properly operate the bus that carries them.
"Can you imagine in a minivan, if you have 55 to 71 students in the back of your bus?" Craig-Johnson said.
Craig-Johnson only drives for the Rathdrum district part time now and just this week, she took the top spot at Idaho's school bus safety competition. Craig-Johnson said people often are in disbelief that the competition exists.
"They're like what? That exists? I'm like, yes of course it exists,” she said.
The international competition, which includes drivers from Canada, is hosted by the National School Transportation Association. It features written tests and an opportunity for drivers to show off their skills.
"We go out on a course, one at a time,” Craig-Johnson said. “And it's set up to test our abilities to park a bus, drive through narrow situations.”
Craig-Johnson has been to internationals seven times before and the highest she has placed was seventh, out of a total of about 70 drivers.
Craig-Johnson said she is excited to be going back to the competition and that all of this is about making sure she is the best bus driver she can be.
"Our most important asset in this world are our children,” Craig-Johnson said. “If we can get them to and from school every day safely with a good positive attitude, then that makes my day."
Internationals will take place next month in Indianapolis, Indiana.