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School Crossing Guard Appreciation Day

School Crossing Guard Appreciation Day
Flagler Schools

They’re out there at the crosswalks before dawn—sometimes in the rain, other times in the fog, and even on clear days—ready and able to make sure Flagler Schools students make it safely to their destinations—their classrooms. Friday, February 3rd, the dedicated team of FCSO crossing guards were recognized with a small token of thanks from the District in celebration of School Crossing Guard Appreciation Day.

District Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt and Chief of Operational Services Dave Freeman stopped by each of the District’s elementary and middle schools to present certificates of appreciation to each of the crossing guards, as well as cupcakes to enjoy during their break.

Ellen LeMay is a school crossing guard who has worked for the district for nine years. Every weekday, she’s on the road in her bright yellow vest and a hand-held stop sign cautioning motorists to slow down or stop as she assists youngsters arriving at Indian Trails Middle School on Belle Terre Parkway. She usually is joined each morning by Kathy Lawler, who happened to be off Friday, as well as floater Brigitte Richard, a native of Canada, who has been working as a crossing guard for a little more than two months. Not only do the crossing guards guide the children across the street, they cajole them into having a great day and remind them that it’s Friday!

LeMay hails from Boston where she worked as a copy contractor where she handled sizable business accounts before moving to Florida. She says she loves her job and making sure the kids get safely across the street to their schools.

Just up the road, Robert Rivera, a former law enforcement officer in Brevard County, says he enjoys “the communication aspect” of the job, “especially with the kids.”  He has worked as a school crossing guard for 1-1/2 years. He works in conjunction with Michael Folger, who hails from Detroit where he spent his career at GM in various capacities. He has been a school crossing guard for only two months, but you wouldn’t know it from the repartee he has with the youngsters he encounters each weekday along the sidewalk in front of Belle Terre Elementary School.

Being a school crossing guard is not without its risks, as Folger can attest. “I was nearly hit last week,” he remarks, but he was fortunately able to maneuver away from the distracted motorist. Despite the risks, he loves what he does and hopes “I can do it until I’m 100,” he says, with a chuckle.

Once the students are safely inside the school and the bell rings for another day of learning, the day’s work is not over as they’re back at their places in the afternoon to make sure the hundreds of Flagler Schools students get safely back across the streets to their homes.

Adult walking child across street

School crossing guard Ellen LeMay walks student across street.

Two adults standing in front of traffic signal

School Crossing Guard Ellen LeMay and Chief of Operational Services Dave Freeman.

Two adults speaking in front of passing cars.

Crossing guard floater Brigitte Richard and Chief of Operational Services Dave Freeman.