A bigger commute

Northstar Middle School special education assistant Jannell Sworski sat inside her tractor with her student Ashton Knopps on Sept. 16

On Monday morning, Northstar Middle School special education assistant Jannell Sworski found a creative way to ward off the Monday blues.

Sworski drove her John Deere tractor to the school from her family’s town of Union farm to give several of her Northstar students a taste of life on the farm, Sworski said in an email Tuesday.

Sworski and her husband raise sheep and cattle and grow row crops. Sworski began farming in 2010, and her husband in the mid-2000s, she said.

One of her Northstar students, Ashton Knopps, is particularly interested in agriculture and equipment, and even drew Sworski a picture of what he guessed her tractor looked like.

“(He) has been very curious and intrigued about the work I do before and after school on our farm,” Sworski said. “He said he had never been in or on a large agricultural tractor before ... I said, ‘We can fix that!’ The promise was made last week and I was happy and eager to follow through.”

Sworski woke up a little early and drove to Northstar Monday morning, flashers on. The normally 10-minute commute took about 25 minutes, but “(the students) were great,” she said. “I think my co-workers enjoyed it as well.”

Knopps and several other students enjoyed the unusual sight in the school parking lot.

“So many smiling faces were well worth the 25-minute drive into town,” Sworski said.