Open-cab tractor drive a bit brisk at Winnebago

Corina Curry

Tractor Day, a decades-old tradition at Winnebago High School when students drive tractors to school and proudly display them in neat rows in front of the school all day, had a special “guest” driver Friday morning — the school’s new principal Beth Summers.

Summers pulled into the school’s parking lot on an bright red, older model field tractor that she borrowed from her dad in Pearl City. She parked it right up along the 28 others that her students drove.

While the school’s new leader doesn’t hail from Winnebago, the country girl who grew up on a dairy farm in the Freeport area said she was eager to participate in school’s 30-some-year tradition marking the beginning of spring.

“It’s part of my roots and a part of the Winnebago community,” Summers said. “I see the farm life in the students here, in their morals and values.”

The only drawback for Summers was the cold. Temperatures this morning were in the 20s and most folks had to scrape frost from their windshields before heading into work.

Summers wasn’t nearly as fortunate. Her father’s tractor is open-cab.

“I think I’m going to need to make a new rule,” she joked. “We should wait until it’s 40 degrees or warmer.”

Corina Curry can be reached at or (815) 987-1371.