LYNDONVILLE — Wintertime motorists take heart; Plowser is on the job.

And so are Arctic Angel, the Blizzard Wizard, Dorito and the Plowinator.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation will be deploying its fleet of plow trucks this winter with names selected by Vermont students. Amy Tatko, public outreach manager for VTrans, said a total of 162 of the state trucks are newly named out of a total fleet of 200.

On Wednesday, the named trucks were driven to the schools whose students named them. Jarrett Petterson, of East Haven, took Plowser to Riverside School.

The truck with plow attached was parked in front of the school’s main building and students gathered by the truck to ask questions of Petterson and to celebrate Eli Michalski, the 7½-year-old second-grader who gave the plow truck its new name.

With Petterson behind the wheel, Plowser will be clearing state highways in and around Lyndon this winter, mostly tending to Route 5. The sides of the dump body of the truck note “PLOWSER” with “The Riverside School” printed underneath.

Riverside educator John Trocci welcomed the assembly of students and brought Eli to the front where fellow students and school faculty gave him a round of applause.

The school chose Eli’s submission from about 80 entries given by school children.

Eli said it was a surprise to learn his Plowser was selected by the school. His father, John Michalski, knew Eli was well-suited for the challenge. “He’s a pretty creative boy so I’m not surprised,” he said.

During the assembly, Eli was given a chance to climb into the driver’s seat of Plowser. He said that was “cool.”

“He’s very interested in machinery,” his dad said.

Trocci encouraged the student body to keep their eyes out for Plowser this winter.

Chris Raymond, from VTrans, who maintains the Caledonia County Airport for the state, said he likes the new name and he likes the VTrans program that led to it.

“Plower’s cool. It says it all,” he said. “What a clever thing to come up with to get the kids involved.”

Tatko said having children name the plows was an early commitment.

“The idea from the beginning if were going to do this was to put it out to our schools,” she said Amy Tatko. She’s said it’s not only fun for the kids; it’s also educational.

“It’s teaching young students about winter safety, highway safety,” she said. ““It’s been wonderful for the schools - the students, the staff and for our staff.”

At Riverside it was Trocci who communicated the name the plow opportunity to the school and encouraged participation.

“I like the idea because the kids would learn about another occupation and have the chance to participate in a statewide thing,” he said.

A committee was formed to consider the many Riverside entries. Each school could only submit one name to the Agency of Transportation.

“You can’t always be a winner, but still you’re a part of the process and that’s important,” said Trocci.

In the local area 29 trucks now bear new names as well as the name of the schools where the names came from. A list of the schools that participated by supplying names and the names they chose follow:

Albany Community School: Wolf Tracks

Barnet Elementary School: Storm Breaker

Barton Graded School: Eye of the Tiger

Blue Mountain Union School: BMU Monster Buck

Bradford Elementary School: Blizzard Wizard

Brownington Central School: The BCS Beast

Burke Town School: Frosty’s Demise

Charleston Elementary School: Dorito

Concord School: Pumpkin

Danville School: Blizzard

Derby Elementary School: Tiger Force

Good Shepherd Catholic School: Arctic Angel

Hardwick Elementary School: The Snow Bobcat

Homeschooling Student from Bradford: Scrapes the Snowplow

Irasburg Village School: Thunder

Lowell Graded School Lowell Snow-manator

Lunenburg School: The Lion’s Snow Destroyer

Lyndon Town School: Snow Buddy

Miller’s Run School: Snowy Joey

Newark Street School: Fearless Frosty

Newbury Elementary School: Snowflake: The Knight Plow

Orleans Elementary School: The Night Owl

St. Johnsbury School: Snowflake Dently

St. Paul’s Catholic School: Flurry the Snow Cow

Sutton School: Sutton Cats Rule the Road

Troy School: The Plowinator

United Christian Academy, Newport: Snow Plowie

Walden School: Snow McQueen

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