Hannah Davey

Dave Nelson stands next to his bus while waiting for kids to load at the middle school.

Number 13

The number 13 has many different meanings

13. Days, balls, doughnuts, reasons, or the bus Dave Nelson spends every day driving.

Dave Nelson has been driving bus number 13 for about 6 years. Nelson owned 4 different businesses throughout his life. Nelson and his wife owned the radio shack and Verizon in New Ulm, Verizon in Saint Peter, and the Dairy Queen in Winthrop. They decided to sell all for different reasons, he then stayed at home and couldn’t handle not working as he needed something to keep him busy. He then drove buses for about a year bouncing between buses until bus number 13 found him.

He keeps driving during rain, snow, sleet, and all the kids yelling and being noisy. He knows these kids need a bus driver that cares and will get them to school safely even if that means they are late.

Nelson is in charge of many different routes during the day. He starts his day with his morning route at 6:44 in the morning every day. He stops at Cathedral and Washington to pick up and drop off the kids. He then goes to the middle school to drop off the Jefferson students and middle school students. While other drivers stop there until after school, however, Nelson picks up high school students from the middle school and drops them off. He picks up students to go to the CTE center and brings them back before lunch. After school, he picks up Cathedral students and goes to Jefferson where he waits for his regular route to load the bus. He also has to stop at Washington to drop off students, and he is then on his way out of town

One of the things he does to show how much he cares is getting the kids treats on special days. On special days such as Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and the last day of school each kid that steps food on his bus gets a treat. The treats often include candy, cookies, chips, and Gatorade.

“I like to brighten the kids’ days and doing this also brightens my own day,” Nelson said. Nelson does this on his own terms. Between him and his wife, Noreen Nelson, they spend their hard-earned money on making these kids smile. Noreen, or one of his kids Angel and Cassandra, help Dave pass out the treats. All the kids that step foot on his bus will receive a treat on one of those days.

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