Friday, Feb. 2, was School Crossing Guard Appreciation Day. Flagler Schools Superintendent LaShakia Moore and Assistant Superintendent Angela O’Brien commemorated the day by making surprise visits and handing out gift bags to the district’s crossing guards.
The district and the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office partner in the crossing guard program to help ensure students arrive and depart school safely each day.
At Wadsworth Elementary School, Moore helped guard the crosswalks and thanked crossing guard Thomas Maccini for his service. She also joined with FCSO deputies to honor crossing guards along Belle Terre Parkway at Wadsworth and Buddy Taylor Middle School.
Moore then stopped for a few minutes to chat with Yvonne Fertall at Rymfire Elementary and with William “Sandy” Cheney at Bunnell Elementary.
O’Brien stopped at Indian Trails Middle School to meet up with Brigitte Richard, who recently was promoted after two years to be a full-time crossing guard, and Ellen LeMay, a five-year veteran of the crossing guard team. They were joined by School Resource Deputy Thomas Douglas as they waited for the last two students to arrive at school.
During a break, the two guards enjoyed some hot coffee — it was 44 degrees outside — and doughnuts in a conference room with ITMS Principal Ryan Andrews and the school’s assistant principals.
“We appreciate what you do every day,” Andrews told them.
At Belle Terre Elementary School, O’Brien presented gift bags and certificates to Richard Rivera, a former Brevard County law enforcement officer, and Michael Folger, a one-time General Motors executive, who had just finished making sure a handful of Bobcats made it safely across Belle Terre Parkway to their campus.
“I’ve watched these kids grow up,” said Rivera, who has been a crossing guard at the school for three years. “I remember some of them when they were little and clinging to their mom or dad, and now they’re confident and able to walk here by themselves. I’m surprised to see how many parents are so appreciative of what we do.”
“We try to set a good example, and they develop a respect for the law,” Folger said. “I love being here first thing in the morning. We have a ball.”