Safe Routes to School


Virginia's Most Outstanding Crossing Guard Archives

2015 | 2014 | 2013

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. 

Virginia Hayden

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.

Sharon Hawkins

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.


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.

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.

Lawrence Norton

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.
Sheila Richardson 

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!”

 Cheryl Belloli
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.
 Marietta Pierce
Jeff Covel – Nottingham Elementary School (Arlington)
Jeff Covel’s presence on 30th and Ohio 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.
 Jeff Covel

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.

 Edie Adcock
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.”
Fred Bobbit 

Virginia's Most Outstanding Crossing Guards of 2013

Angie Thigpen, Charles Barret Elementary School (Alexandria)
Not only is she the crossing guard during school arrival and dismissal but it’s not unusual to see her volunteering to help out during special events at the school or during lunchtime at the cafeteria. She is relentlessly efficient and focused when it comes to keeping the community safe and I have never seen her without a smile and kind word for the parents and kids. She is amazing. Angie gives me daily updates on how my daughter was in school.  She was the first person to make me feel like I belonged in the community.  She has a big smile every day that makes you feel special.
 Angie Thigpen
Sheryl Mull, Stratford Landing Elementary School (Fairfax)
Ms. Mull is present, energetic, armed with a broad smile as she approached the daunting task of ensuring the safety of 915 students arriving at Stratford Landing daily via bus, car, and foot.  She has lots of passion for her job and demonstrates it every morning and afternoon as she keeps us all safe. She has purchased reflective gear to wear and hold, making her a bright sight on Riverside Road, so cars are aware of her directions at all times. She regularly communicates with the school administrator and patrol sponsor about issues on Riverside Road as well as offers helpful suggestions for our school that we can share with parents. She even appears at school functions to educate parents and students on the safest procedures for school drop off and pick up.  Ms. Mull is an outstanding Crossing Guard, loved by our community.
 Sheryl Mull
Fancelle Liggins, Cumberland High School, Cumberland Middle School and Cumberland Elementary (Cumberland)
Fancelle Liggins has served Cumberland County Public Schools as a crossing guard since 1993. She takes her job seriously, always putting the safety of the students first.  She not only monitors the students, but watches for unsafe drivers, assists other pedestrians, and checks for unsafe street conditions. Mrs. Liggins regularly participates in training activities so that she can be the best possible crossing guard. Her attendance is excellent, and she is outside during all seasons and all weather, ranging from freezing cold in winter to scorching heat in summer. She is pleasant to work with, always has a smile for students, parents, staff, and community members. She can be seen every afternoon, wearing her regulation steel-toed boots and hard hat, standing in the middle of busy Route 60 directing traffic so that the buses and students can walk safely.
 Fancelle Liggins
Phyllis Krapf, Armstrong Elementary School (Herndon)
rs. Krapf is an outstanding crossing guard! Her mantra must be "the kids' safety comes first." She makes cars, school buses and even police cars wait for pedestrians. Our family admires Mrs. Krapf so much!  We look forward to her smiling face every day, and we always know that she is there to help us safely cross the busy Lake Newport Road.  She definitely goes above and beyond when she looks out for us when we are running late for school. We are thankful for her assistance!  And my eight year old loves it when she blows her whistle at the cars!
 Phyllis Krapf
Jim O’Brien, Johnson-Williams Middle School and Berryville Primary (Berryville)
Mr. O'Brien has been working with Clarke County Schools for 12 years and he is a constant fixture on the corner of Main Street and Lincoln Avenue in all kinds of weather.  He greets each student, parent or community member with a smile and a kind word.  The bus drivers in the division know that traffic will flow well and students will be safe with Mr. O'Brien at his post.  Everyone in the neighborhood looks forward to his friendly wave as they drive past him. Mr. O'Brien is so dedicated that he scheduled his last surgery so as to limit the amount of days that he would be away from his corner.  The days that he did miss, the substitute was constantly asked, "When will Mr. O'Brien be back?"   
 Jim O'Brien
Caroline Woolwine, Radford High School, John Dalton Intermediate School and McHarg Elementary School (Radford)
Mrs. Woolwine is an incredibly important part of our school community. She has served as a crossing guard for the Radford City Schools for many, many years. She takes her job seriously and is always pleasant and inviting with the students she serves. On a daily basis, you can find her at the intersection of 12th and Robertson Streets, assisting our walkers to our after school program, working with disadvantaged students to the high school, and supporting many athletic events.  She knows the students' names and is familiar with the families, as well.  The students respect her and she genuinely loves each of them. She is extremely dedicated and hardworking and rarely misses work no matter how she feels or the weather conditions. We appreciate her enthusiasm and her kind disposition each morning and afternoon.  She is a tremendously important part of our family.
 Caroline Woolwine

Page last modified: July 3, 2017