Scott A. Sweeney, Carthage Central Schools
Photo by Amanda Taylor,
Scott A. Sweeney, a Carthage Central School District bus mechanic and member of the Cathage School-Related Personnel, is among the best mechanics in the country. The Castorland native finished fourth in last month's America's Best School Bus Technicians and Inspectors competition in Rocky Mount, N.C. Sweeney was eligible to compete after he won the New York State Tech-Mech Roadeo in 2011.
Sweeney never imagined that last year he would be named the best in New York state. Sweeney, a bus mechanic for 15 years, has served the Indian River Central School District and the Watertown City Schools. At work each bus has to be inspected for defects twice a year.
"The more experience you get, the more it helps you," he told reporter Reena Singh of the Watertown Daily Times.
"It's fitting to celebrate Sweeney's achievements, especially as we look forward to SRP Recognition Day," said NYSUT Vice President Kathleen Donahue.
The state competitions are modeled after state bus inspections.
Competitors have to find 10 defects inside, 10 outside and 10 under "dummied up" buses, he said. Everything — from exhaust leaks to peeling floors, broken lights, engine oil leaks and broken springs — has to be identified in 10 minutes. Competitors are also required to take a written test. Ties are often broken based on speed — those who spot defects the quickest are given the upper hand.
Sweeney received sponsorship and support from the Carthage SRPs, New York Bus Sales, the district's transportation office staff and the Head Mechanics Association.
"It's wonderful," said Patty Flynn, president of the Carthage SRPs. "I'm so excited for him. What a positive thing for him, our school, our district and our community."