What is yellow, has room for 72 passengers and is in a rodeo?
It's a bus driven by Fern Moyer, a Columbia County school bus driver, who took fourth-place honors recently in the district Georgia State Patrol School Bus Road-e-o.
For 10 years, Moyer has driven a special-education bus for Columbia County Schools and she has competed in the rodeo for the past four years. This year she advanced to the state level, where she finished in the top 15 out of 40 competitors.
"Each person has a different event that they really have to work on," Moyer said. "The whole thing is a lot of fun."
In the rodeo, bus drivers are tested on driving laws, rules and regulations. The driving-skills portion of the event involves a bus inspection, backing, clearance, turns, railroad crossings, parking and stopping. The rodeo program is designed to promote public awareness about the skills and responsibilities in the job of a school bus driver.
Moyer competed using a 72-passenger Blue Bird school bus from McDuffie County and did part of her training in Richmond County. Although Columbia County does not have a local rodeo, Moyer has been nominated as committee chairwoman to set up a local rodeo for Columbia County school bus drivers.
"The rodeo is a great training tool and it keeps up your driving skills," Moyer said.
"Fern did an excellent job in the competition, demonstrating outstanding knowledge on the written test and a super job in the driving competition," said Shirley Doolittle, director of Columbia County Schools' transportation department. "We are very proud to have her as part of the Columbia County School transportation team."
Moyer plans to return to the competition next year, with the help of her husband and coach, Jerry.
"He is always very involved in the rodeos (and) always encourages me," Moyer said.
The Moyers have three children: Brandi, 19, Keri Lynne, 14, and Nicole, 10.
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