I am sure most will agree that this has been one of the best winters for driving conditions we have had for several years. This weather sure helps our drivers who transport Kingsland students.

Let me introduce you to our bus drivers.

Nevin Stender drives bus No. 1. Nevin has been driving school bus as a substitute driver since 1966 and full-time since the late '80s. He retired from Land O' Lakes a few years ago and has served as a firefighter for many years.

Bus No. 2 is driven by Pen Partch. Pen has been driving for Kingsland for five years. She also has several other part-time jobs in the area.

The driver of bus No. 3 is Lyman Richter. Many of you might remember Lyman as the former high school agriculture teacher at Kingsland. He taught for nearly 30 years before his retirement.

Bus No. 4 is driven by Loren Poldervaard. Loren is an area farmer who has been driving bus for 11 years.

In bus No. 5 we have Elton Sikkink. Elton is a retired postal worker and former barber. He drove for the Wykoff School District for many years with a short break. He has been driving for Kingsland for the past eight years.

Bus No. 6 is driven by Joe Haynes. Joe is the pastor at the Baptist Church. He has driven bus for our school district for 12 years.

Along with these regular route drivers, we have several substitute drivers. They include Dennis Hillesland, who has been driving bus since the 1960s; Gerald Stockdale, who drove for the district for several years in the past has returned; and Dennis Timmerman, who is a minister at Our Savior's Lutheran Church. We also have John Fenske, Steve Tammel and Brian Hoff, who help with athletic events.

In addition to the bus drivers, we have four special education van routes.

Cathy Haynes, who is the wife of bus driver Joe Haynes, drives a special education route to Austin each day.

Ron Neis is a retired UPS driver. He transports several students to Root River Ed District in Harmony.

Lorin Hove, also a retired truck driver, takes students to a special education program in Rochester. Both Ron and Lorin are school bus driver substitutes.

Belinda Klomps drives a special education and handicapped route locally. She is also a cook at the elementary/high school.

If you run into any of our drivers, please greet them and thank them. They do their unenviable job by transporting your children and grandchildren as safely as possible to school every day.