Safe Routes to School



Crossing Guard Appreciation Day

• About  • Outstanding Crossing Guards  • Resources

What is Crossing Guard Appreciation Day?

Crossing Guard Appreciation Day (CGAD) is a statewide event devoted to saying thank you to those who help students cross the street safely on their way to and from school.

When is Crossing Guard Appreciation Day?

While the Virginia SRTS Program has designated the second Wednesday of February as Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, we encourage schools and communities to plan their own Crossing Guard Appreciation Day on any day that works for them to recognize the valuable role crossing guards play in making safe routes to school a reality.

Do you like to plan ahead? Put these dates on your calendar now for the coming years:

  • Crossing Guard Appreciation Day 2016 – February 10
  • Crossing Guard Appreciation Day 2017 – February 8

How can my school participate in Crossing Guard Appreciation Day?

Whether simple or elaborate, Crossing Guard Appreciation Day events are a great way to acknowledge the value your crossing guard brings to safe travel to school. Your school may choose to say thank you in person, promote the work of your crossing guard in local media, and nominate your crossing guard for Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guard Award. More event ideas are available in the Crossing Guard Appreciation Day Learn It. Do It. Live It. which is available for download along with thank you cards, flyers and stickers at the bottom of this page.

Nominate your crossing guard Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guard Award here.

All schools with VA SRTS banners that nominate their crossing guard for the Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guard will receive a Crossing Guard Appreciation Day decal to add to their banner. For more information about banners and decals, please see the Student Travel Tally webpage.


Virginia's Most Outstanding Crossing Guards of 2015


Ruth Grayson Hill, Clark Elementary School (Charlottesville)

Ruth Grayson Hill, school crossing guard at Clark Elementary School, exemplifies a unique combination of safe behavior and kindness. She knows how to start students’ days off with a smile while keeping their safety her number one priority. Her focus never leaves the children in her crossing area. Recently, Ruth rescued a small child who wandered into the street while the child’s parent was chatting with another parent. Parents note Ruth’s enthusiasm and dedication: "Ruth is my first wave in the morning and last wave in the afternoon...I am sure I am not the only one to say she consistently brightens up by mornings and afternoons!"  "Ms. Ruth always smiles and waves (if you're following the speed limit!) and says kind things. Everyone in the neighborhood approaches her and talks to her and she keeps the kids and their families safe. She is amazing.”




Virginia Haden, Ruby F. Carver Elementary School (Henrico)

Virginia Haden has the distinction of being the longest serving school crossing guard in Henrico County. For over 43 year, Virginia has assisted students walking to school, rain or shine. Above and beyond her crossing guard duties, Virginia provides instructions to students on safe walking and biking and has participated in the Officer Ollie Safety Program, a national program to teach safety to students. Her warm smile and encouraging words create a positive start to her students’ days. In addition to winning this year’s Outstanding Crossing Guard Award, Virginia was recognized by the Henrico County School Board for her dedication to the students, and her longevity, in 2014. 





Sharon Hawkins, Ettrick Elementary School (Chesterfield)

Sharon Hawkins has been a school crossing guard for over 25 years in Chesterfield County. Sharon is a great example of a school crossing guard who knows and is committed to her students. Sharon knows all her walkers, young and old, by name. If a student’s parents don’t show up at dismissal, Sharon will escort them back to the school to contact the parents. When Sharon’s crossing location was under construction, she worked with the school to put up extra cones and signage to help alert drivers to pedestrians in the area. She takes the time to educate bike riders and pedestrians on safety issues, and compliments positive behavior, even purchasing small tokens as rewards for students. Truly going above and beyond, Sharon pays attention to students in need and has purchased gloves and coats for students lacking proper winter gear. She is an excellent example of community policing.  




Denise Duesing, Chamberlayne Elementary School (Henrico)

Crossing Guard Denise Duesing has been serving students through rain, sleet, and snow for the past 36 years.  Currently at Chamberlayne Elementary School, she serves as a superb ambassador for the greater law enforcement community by providing a friendly and positive impression of uniformed officers for our children. Denise strives to educate students on safe walking and bicycling behavior through the Office Ollie Safety Program, in addition to performing her duties as a school crossing guard.   Additionally, she has also participated in the Officer Ollie Safety Program, a national program that teaches various safety topics to students.  Denise’s commitment to community service extends beyond her job.  She volunteers at the local hospital and participates in the annual Cops Who Care shopping program for families who need assistance during the Christmas holidays. Getting to school is an enjoyable and safe experience for the Chamberlayne students thanks to the efforts of Denise Duesing.




Christine Coates, Liberty Elementary School (Ashburn)

Christine Coates is an outstanding school crossing guard at Liberty Elementary School, one of the largest elementary schools in Loudoun County.  Her job was complicated with a recent change in policy which resulted in a requirement for parents to park across the street and walk with their children from the school across the street. Christine has facilitated this difficult change and significant increase in pedestrian crossings with ease, ensuring the safety of all those walking. In addition to being a fantastic crossing guard, she is a long-time Liberty parent, a cafeteria monitor for the children, and has served in various positions on our PTA.  Liberty is the school it has become, in part, because of Christine Coates.




Lawrence "Dick" Norton, Stafford Senior High and Gayle Middle Schools (Stafford)

Dick Norton, a school crossing guard for Stafford County Public Schools, directs traffic at Stafford Senior High and Gayle Middle Schools. Dick arrives at Stafford Senior High at 6:30 AM every day no matter the weather, and in an hours' time, he controls and directs well over 3,000 vehicles, including school buses. With experience and vigilance, Dick accepts this challenge and has become a master at traffic safety and reporting infractions while maintaining a wonderful relationship with staff, students, neighbors, pedestrians and motorists alike. In the afternoon, Dick directs traffic and assists with crossing at Gayle Middle School. As a role model for students and staff he believes in getting the job done with skill, pride and professionalism.  In 2015, Dick was recognized by YOVASO (Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety) for his compassion and dedication to keeping his students safe. 

Previous Outstanding Crossing Guard Award Winners



Flyer (8.5” x 11”) Poster (11” x 17”) Stickers (for 2” round labels, Avery 22807, 22817;)





Learn It. Do It. Live It! Thank You Cards (8.5” x 11”)

From Student – PDF

From Parent – PDF

From Principal – PDF

From Mayor – PDF

Blank inside – PDF

Lined inside – PDF




Local Press Release Media Advisory Template




Page last modified: Feb. 10, 2016