School Bus Driver Spotlight

Vicki Erickson


Vicki Erickson has driven school bus for over 35 years, all within the same school district. She began driving in 1989 for Denny Bengston, who had the busses for the Wanamingo school district. Her father-in-law, a bus driver in Cannon Falls at the time, told her if she could drive a grain truck she could certainly maneuver a school bus. School busses at that time were not as convenient as now, having no power steering, no power brakes, manual transmission, and typically 48 or 54 passenger. She and her husband were also dairy farmers at that time, plus she worked at the school as maintenance/ custodial.

When the Kenyon and Wanamingo districts merged to become Kenyon-Wanamingo Schools, Howard Held purchased the Wanamingo busses from Bengston, so she then began driving for Held Bus Service. She has always loved working for Howard and Jon Held.

Vicki has driven a lot more than just routes over the years. She did a lot of sports trips, being able to see her own sons play football and baseball, plus wrestle. She also did a lot of field and class trips. She never minded the challenge of driving in the Twin Cities. Some of her early co-workers included Sigurd Ree, Roger Floan, Don Greseth, Bonnie Greseth, and Gary Peterson. She retired from the school in 2021.

Vicki is now driving many second- generation students. She enjoys it because of the kids, saying they become “your kids”. Most kids are respectful, friendly, and helpful. A driver need not yell, just properly explain why they should or shouldn’t do something. Snow doesn’t bother her, but it can be hot in the driver seat on hot days.

She has not experienced many stop-arm violations, and noted that the roundabout in Wanamingo has made that intersection so much safer.

Thank you, Vicki, for your service in transporting the world’s most precious cargo- our youth for all of these years.