Published Sunday, February 17, 2013
From SPECIAL REPORTS
Georgia School Superintendent Dr. John Barge honored Coweta County bus technician Steve Addison Jr. as the Georgia Bus Technician of the Year in a ceremony on Friday.
Addison was honored at the Superintendent’s February recognitions held at the Georgia Department of Education.
“Thank you for keeping Coweta students safe every day with what you do,” Barge told Addison. Addison was accompanied to the event by Coweta County Superintendent Steve Barker and Coweta County School Bus Shop Foreman Keith McCullough.
Addison – an eight-year Coweta County School System employee – came in first place at the 2012 Georgia Department of Education-Pupil Transportation Division technician competition, held during the organization’s 50th “Workshop for School Bus Technicians.”
Two participants are selected from each of Georgia’s Regional Education Services Agency districts, who then compete on a written test and a timed diagnosis of problems that could be found on three school buses.
“Mr. Addison was first out of 30 competitors,” said Barge. Addison won the title of “2012 Technician of the Year” and a $500 prize. He went on, Barge noted, to place second in the nation in the field after competing in the America’s Best School Bus Technician and Inspector competition.
The national competition featured 20 other technicians from across the nation. Competitors had to complete a comprehensive written exam, and perform hands-on diagnostics over a four-hour period that included diagnosing problems with school bus coolant systems, transmissions, electrical systems and other engine problems, and describing maintenance remedies.
“It was pretty tough, but we had a blast,” said Addison. “It’s a feeling of accomplishment, and all the guys there were on the same level, so it was a very tough competition.”
“We’re very proud of Steve. This is a great honor,” said Coweta County School System Transportation Director Judy Gresham. “We’re proud of all our technicians here – every service and repair mechanic is very highly skilled, and they are extremely dedicated employees.”
Addison was not the first Coweta technician to enter the national competition. Tim Thrower was state champion and competed nationally in 2010. Technician Jamie Cash also placed in the 2012 state competitions.