Safe Routes to School
Crossing Guard Appreciation Day
Crossing Guard Appreciation Day 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.
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.
Virginia's Most Outstanding Crossing Guards of 2014
Sheila Richardson, Samuel Tucker Elementary School (Alexandria)
Ms.Sheila Richardson works hard to ensure that everyone arrives at school in a timely manner while maintaining the highest level of safety. She is always willing to help the students and parents, arriving at her post earlier than expected to check the school grounds, and assisting late arrivals in the parent drop off area after she finishes with her crossing guard duties. She is aware of the many events that happen throughout the school day and makes changes to ensure that the school day runs smoothly. Ms. Sheila is a special part of the Tucker Elementary School community. She gives high fives and offers support to nervous children and parents on the first day of school. She has contacted police in regards to a stolen bicycle and stayed late to ensure it was recovered. Parents place so much confidence in Ms. Sheila that 2nd and 3rd graders walk from the corner to school independently under her watch. Cold weather is no match for her dedication; Ms. Sheila clears snow and helps walkers navigate their way through the icy areas on their way to school.
Cheryl Belloli - Centreville and Union Mill Elementary Schools, Liberty Middle School (Centreville)
For nine years, Cheryl Belloli has been faithfully serving the Centreville community through rain, sleet, freezing temperatures, and snow as she helps students safely cross busy intersections on their way to school. She keeps our students safe, traffic moving, and is known for greeting everyone by name with a warm smile! Cheryl is not afraid to be assertive when needed, because student safety always comes first. At the same time, she is compassionate and fully engaged with the children and families in a way that is personal and reflective of her genuine interest in their lives. Cheryl serves as a superb ambassador for the greater law enforcement community by providing a friendly and positive impression of uniformed officers for our children. When asked why Cheryl should win the 2015 Crossing Guard of the Year Award, students replied, “We love how she always takes time to talk to me. We love how she always passes out candy canes at Christmas, and she is so much fun!”
Marietta Pierce, Antietam and Westridge Elementary Schools, Lake Ridge Middle School (Woodbridge)
Mrs. Pierce is the model crossing guard and has been a beloved part of the Westridge community for 11 years! She executes her duties at such an exemplary level that her professional performance alone should merit recognition. However, Mrs. Pierce also manages to maintain a personal connection with the children that goes above and beyond the call of duty. For over a decade, Mrs. Pierce has served as a stalwart symbol within our community; safeguarding our children and our neighborhood, getting to know kindergarteners by name and easing their transition with a friendly and familiar face, and maintaining her unique relationship with the kids to their graduation and beyond. Mrs. Pierce's rare absence never goes without notice or concern, and her return is always warmly welcomed and appreciated by all.
Jeff Covel, Nottingham Elementary School (Arlington)
Jeff Covel’s presence at 30th Street and N. Ohio Street has become essential each morning and afternoon. The neighborhood is thankful to have him. He knows everybody's names, and always greets us with a big smile He does an outstanding job as a guard with a strong commitment to safety and has total control of the intersection, giving a friendly wave to every single car that passes him in the mornings. He very nicely counsels kids to behave in a safer manner, such as reminding them not to bounce a ball as they cross the street, and will give high fives to toddlers as they go by. The kids and parents alike look forward to seeing him every morning on their way to school, as he never fails to spread good cheer. His positivity is indefatigable and contagious. He greets people by name and is cheerful and upbeat in the foulest of weather. He somehow manages this while being incredibly focused on stopping traffic and keeping pedestrians safe. Safety is always first and foremost.
Edie Adcock, Wolftrap Elementary School (Vienna)
Edie Adcock has been a crossing guard at Wolftrap Elementary School for 29 years. That equates to over four generations of completely new students who have been guided safely across Beulah Road by Ms. Edie, as she is affectionately known. She is a fixture in the mornings and afternoons, and a friend not just to the students but also the parents, caregivers and others who walk their children to school. She even recognizes parents she crossed 20 years ago. Since 2009, when Wolftrap started its SRTS activities, Ms. Edie has supported us by being a key part of monthly bike trains, weekly Walking Wednesdays and annual Bike/Walk Challenges. During “Snowmageddon” she provided boots-on-the-ground input to move the Kiss-N-Ride, which improved safety by an order of magnitude. She also worked with the bus drivers when this past fall's traffic situation was compounded by new instructions from FCPD. Her biggest joy is when the monthly bike train rolls by; and how she stops all traffic for every rider on it, be it a trio of riders or a massive group of over 50. Wolftrap is a better and safer place as a result of Ms. Edie’s daily presence.
Fred Bobbitt, Galax Elementary School (Galax )
After 29 years as a deputy, Officer Fred Bobbitt became a certified school resource officer at Galax Elementary School for the past two years. Students from pre-K to 4th grade respect him and it shows. Officer Bobbitt knows most students by name, but he isn’t afraid to use his adult voice to call them when he must. He is also good for hugs by the kids, chatter about their day and being a friend to all. Ask him and he will tell you, being a crossing guard also gives him the chance to teach safety and gauge any other issues the students may have. Bobbitt also walks a group of students to the nearby recreation center for an after-school program. Tammy Haga, the program’s director said it best, “They adore him. He is a positive, encouraging, comforting role model. Just watch the students’ faces light up when they are with him.”
Previous Outstanding Crossing Guard Award Winners
Use the following downloadable materials to help thank the crossing guards in your community:
Learn more about Crossing Guard Appreciation Day with the VDOT SRTS Learn it, Do it, Live it information flyer.
Students can make thank you cards in class to give to the crossing guard on the way home. This can be part of art class or writing class.
Parents can write thank you cards to deliver in person or send with their children on the way to school.
Principals can write official letters of appreciation and deliver them during the afternoon dismissal.
Even the Mayor of your city can participate and write an official letter of appreciation .