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Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

The man behind the Jeep

The+man+behind+the+Jeep

The dark green Jeep is a prominent staple in Mounds View’s East Lot, yet many students are unaware of the driver behind it. Dan Engebretson, Mounds View’s parking lot supervisor, deals with a variety of situations around the school. 

In the mornings, Engebretson strategically parks where he does to leave the last 14 spots of the staff parking lot open. These spots need to be left open to give buses room to turn around. The placement of the Jeep allows staff to know how many spots they can take up and which ones need to be left open.

Engebretson also monitors the parking lot for potential accidents, and so far, he has seen a few. He remembers a few years ago an alumnus was dropping off their brother and was hit while pulling out. “There was pretty good damage,” he said. 

He also said he has witnessed a few hit-and-runs and assisted a student whose car had been keyed. However, even with the use of security cameras, they still could not find the culprit. Engebretson feels that this year has been relatively tame in terms of incidents.

When it comes to a procedure for if an accident occurs, Engebretson says there isn’t a lot he can do. “Usually we tell them to just exchange information and then just move on,” he said. In some cases, they can request a resource officer to the scene, but a police report is rarely necessary for accidents in the parking lot.  

Another one of Engebretson’s responsibilities in the parking lot is the parking violations. If he finds students parking in staff and visitor spots or someone parking without a permit, for example, he will hand out violations. “We get kids, too, that will try to park around the building like in the grass or by the baseball field and stuff like that,” he said. Every day, he walks through the lot and checks for potential violations. 

Sometimes Engebretson doles out warnings rather than violations. “Right now I’m not going to give anybody a ticket because I don’t want you to park at St. Johns and walk down here when it’s 11 below, but if it’s sunny and 80 you’re getting a ticket,” he said. Circumstances can often change how Engebretson responds. 

In response to situations involving student parking issues, he texts the students from the phone number they gave when purchasing the parking permit and tells them to move the car. “People have triple or quadruple-parked…so the [other] cars can’t move,” Engebretson said. He also stated there have also been many students who have left their car running in the lot, and he has had to contact the drivers if he is not able to turn the car off himself.    

Engebretson notices patterns with the student and staff drivers. He thinks the skills of student drivers are surprisingly good. “Their parking is better than staff,” he said. “There’s a couple [of] knuckleheads, of course, but for the most part everyone is pretty good.” He also finds it weird that he has noticed most people park in the same parking spot every day.     

Engebretson also commented on some changes the school plans to make with the lots. Many Mounds View students that drive to school have noticed the poor condition of the North parking lot. “Across the street is going to be brand new this summer,” Engebretson said. “Getting rid of this gas station thing over there, that will be gone, and it’s all getting paved, and they’re going to make it all one way so that will take away a lot of the problems.” He also says that will be helpful because when it is finished, there will be plenty of spots, enough for everyone to get a permit. 

In the parking lot, Engebretson deals with circumstances ranging from minor parking violations to damaged vehicles. However, when he is not patrolling the lot, he can be found directing school buses, helping out in the front office or working to ensure student safety in other ways inside the school. His day is filled with many responsibilities that are heavily involved with students and staff and their safety. Mounds View students can be assured of their well-being under the watchful eyes of the man in the dark green Jeep. 

About the Contributor
Tyler Quattrin
Tyler Quattrin, Print Editor-in-Chief and Features Editor
Hello! I am thrilled to be a print Editor-in-Chief for my third year on The Viewer. Outside of The Viewer, I am a captain of the Mounds View Boys Swim and Dive team. Feel free to reach out to me directly at [email protected]. Awards:  Best of SNO - Mounds View Theater casting sparks controversy Best of SNO - Pro-life activists rally against Minnesota abortion legislation Best of SNO - From Mounds View to the MN Supreme Court: Chief Justice Hudson's distinguished career Journalism Day at The Guthrie runner up - ‘Dial M for Murder’ Revitalizes Hitchcock’s Classic at the Guthrie
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