School bus drivers from across Central Alberta competed in the Provincial School Bus Road-eo competition in Nisku on June 8.  

The competition included a written test, and road maneuvers designed to simulate daily driving scenarios. Drivers had to navigate an obstacle course with tasks including student pick-up, railroad crossings, right and left turns, curb parking, backing into a stall, parallel parking, narrow stalls, and offset alleys.   

Chinook’s Edge school bus driver and trainer, Kelly Frere, won first place at the annual Alberta Bus Road-eo.   

Kelly Frere wins first at School Bus Road-eoChinook’s Edge bus driver and trainer Kelly Frere won first place at the 41st annual Alberta Bus Road-eo.
Photo provided by Chinook's Edge School Division.

Over the years, Frere has worked to improve her skills, and she has a continuous goal of doing better than she did the year before.   

“Since I won first place two years ago and was not able to attend internationals because it was canceled, I was more determined to win this year so I could represent Alberta,” said Frere. “Making it to internationals has always been the goal and I am so happy to have achieved it.”  

In the past, she has placed in the top 10 at the provincial level seven times.  

Frere has been driving a school bus for 24 years, and first began so she could stay at home with her children.  

“My passion developed from there,” she said. “I have enjoyed all the relationships I have forged with families over the years and I believe that if you love kids, love to drive, want to become a better driver all around, and want the flexibility of being home with your children while also earning an income, then this is the best career choice.”  

Frere believes her success in the School Bus Road-eo stems from her passion for the industry, her desire to always improve and challenge herself, her attention to detail, practice, and a little bit of luck.  

She is now preparing to represent Alberta at the International Bus Road-eo in Texas on June 29 and 30.  

“The events for the competition are very similar to what we do at our local and provincial level. With the internationals being held in Texas, I will need to study up on their state laws, especially for the written portion of the competition, but I am up for the challenge,” Frere said.  

Also participating in the Alberta Bus Road-eo event were Chinook’s Edge drivers Melissa Brodeur and Samantha Smith.  

Competing from Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) were Ben Murto, Jerry Witvoet, and Andria Helland.  

Wolf Creek Public Schools team photo at the School Bus Road-eo.Dryden Drescher (Judge), Nicole Stangeland (Judge), Lolita Clark (Judge), Jerry Witvoet of Wolf Creek (Competitor), Ben Murto of Wolf Creek (Competitor), Brendon Freerksen ( Judge), Tammy Freerksen (Marshal), Jeana Freerksen (Judge). Missing: Andrea Helland of Wolf Creek (Competitor).
Photo provided by Wolf Creek Public Schools. 

"It's about being the best you can be and challenging yourself to stay collected in front of over 100 of your peers while driving through some very challenging obstacles," said Tammy Freerksen, administrative assistant, and trainer with Wolf Creek Public Schools. "These skills are essential when managing a bus full of children, requiring drivers to maintain composure and adapt quickly in heavy traffic around schools. The School Bus Road-eo not only enhances these driver skills but also provides a fun and team-building environment, bringing together drivers and judges in a yearly family reunion, road-eo style."  



**With information provided by Chinook’s Edge, and Wolf Creek Public Schools.