Yelm Mail Carrier Named Outstanding Member of the Year by State Association

By Brandon Hansen / For the Nisqually Valley News
Posted 8/11/22

Kris Skewis has been a mail carrier in Yelm since 1994. She was recently named the Washington Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (WARLCA) 2021-2022 Outstanding Member of the Year.

“I …

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Yelm Mail Carrier Named Outstanding Member of the Year by State Association

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Kris Skewis has been a mail carrier in Yelm since 1994. She was recently named the Washington Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (WARLCA) 2021-2022 Outstanding Member of the Year.

“I found that out at our union convention in Kennewick,” Skewis said. “I had no clue. No idea. I thought, ‘I’m just a mail carrier in Yelm and Washington has hundreds if not thousands of them.’”

Each year, the award for Outstanding Member of the Year is presented to a rural carrier who has exhibited exemplary service for the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association. Also considered is participation in local, state and national meetings, responsibility and dedication in performing duties, fraternal attitude to others in the rural carrier craft and community service that reflects favorably upon the rural craft and the United States Postal Service.

Before joining the U.S. Postal Service, Skewis worked at the McKenna Care Center. Her husband saw a job advertisement in the newspaper and she was hired. Skewis had to wait for an opening, which took almost two years. She initially failed the driver’s test, but two months later, she received a call from the Lacey Post Office and was hired there.

Back then, all rural routes were completed with privately owned vehicles, meaning Skewis had to drive her own vehicle.

Two years later in 1994, Skewis found an opening closer to home in Yelm. She has since remained on the same route since 1999.

During that time, she has also been hired as an academy instructor to be a teacher for new hires, ushering in a new generation of mail carriers.

Skewis has 810 delivery points on a route that spans 16 miles. She has three times as many customers today compared to when she started.



“I’ve been on this route so long, I’ve seen children grow up and now they have kids,” Skewis said. “It’s just awesome talking to and learning about all these people.”

Skewis’ name was submitted to the union without her knowledge.

“The biggest change I have seen is before we would have about 10 parcels (packages) a day, and now that’s essentially what we’re all carrying now with some mail,” Skewis explained. “I’m guilty of it — ordering things online — but it’s really been the biggest change.

Skewis travels a lot to other offices and spends 24 to 40 hours with new hires from Lynden, Longview, Montesano, North Bend and other locations. When talking to new hires, she encourages them to be members of the National Rural Letter Carriers Association and has attended many meetings throughout the years.

“I really enjoy my job,” Skewis said. “I don’t think I would give it up for anything else.”

While the Postal Service changed to its familiar white mail delivery vehicles in 2012, Skewis said she still drives her right-handed yellow Jeep and many people recognize her on the road.

When she isn’t delivering mail, she is enjoying time with her grandchildren and takes every opportunity to play with them, read to them and relax around the house and property.

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