Transportation Director for Ballard Community School District Thomas Sharpnack is retiring at the end of this school year. He started as a bus driver for Irvin Allen in 1972, then started driving and doing mechanic work on the buses for Doug Allen in 1993 and took over as the director of transportation in 1998. Sharpnack is a 1971 Ballard High School graduate and a native of Huxley. From 1973 to 1992, he worked full time as an underground construction equipment mechanic and farmed on the side. He said after this year’s retirement, he’ll still enjoy farming, along with traveling and playing with the grandkids. He and his wife, Linda, have three children, all graduates of Ballard. They are: Marci Hammerand, who lives in Urbandale; Lisa Hughes, who lives in Johnston, and T.J. Sharpnack, who lives in Manchester. The enjoyable part of his job with Ballard, he said, has been watching all of the students grow up. His advice for new transportation employees: “You need lots of patience.” Photo by Kim Harms