Pioneer Spotlight: Tweet Leibfried

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Pioneer Spotlight
Tweet Leibfried
March 17, 2017

Hardly anyone on the UW-Platteville campus knows who Tonya Leibfried is, but almost everyone knows the person simply known as Tweet. She is as quick with a joke as she is in ringing up people in the Pioneer Crossing during the busy lunch hour. She works in Pioneer Printing and Postal Services, Dining Services and the Textbook Center. Leibfried also drives a school bus for the Potosi School District.

First of all, where did you get the nickname Tweet?

Some older gentlemen in Potosi used to own a meat locker plant just the other end of the block from my house growing up. I used to walk up there every morning, climb under the meat-cutting table and sing "Mary Had a Little Lamb." They would then give me a nickel or a dime, and I would go up front to the grocery store and buy a Tootsie Roll or Dreamsickle. Then I would go back with my treat and talk to those two all day. So they started calling me Tweetie Bird, “Feed her and she’ll chirp like a bird.”

Does anyone call your Tonya?

Only a few of my classmates will call my Tonya. I finally had to put Tweet in the phone book because people would look up my name and couldn’t find me.

You have many part-time jobs here since you began in 2003. What all do you do?

I work in the Pioneer Printing and Postal Service area and do a variety of jobs. In the mail center, I sort and deliver mail. I did bulk mail for years, and I do punch and bindery work on big projects. At the Textbook Center, I check in and then check out books at the beginning and end of each semester. And as a cashier, I pull my hair out most days. No, I love it because it goes so fast. There are days when the register freezes up in the middle of a rush or you get 500 students who all have cash instead of meal cards. I finish the day and say “that was so much fun,” and the others look at me and ask if I’m nuts. Yeah, but I love it.

What is it that keeps you doing so many things?

I like the variety of jobs. I don’t like sitting down and doing one thing all day. My day is never boring. A lot of my time is fast-paced, and I like that too. I like the people I work with.

What is the favorite part of your jobs?

The students. Meeting all the students. I get to know some of them, and they start laughing as soon as they get in my line (at Pioneer Crossing).

Interview conducted by Paul Erickson, Director, Communications. To nominate someone for the Pioneer Spotlight, contact


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