By Mary O’KEEFE
They are the first to walk out into a busy street full of drivers that are seemingly all in a hurry. They are armed only with a handheld stop sign and a yellow vest. These are the crossing guards that have become so much a part of the elementary school landscape that at times it is easy to take them for granted but on Thursday night the Crescenta Valley Town Council will do what they can to remedy that oversight.
“[We] have never been honored like this before from a city,” said Janice Payne, area supervisor for All City Management Services, the company that contracts with the school district for crossing guards.
Payne said she was surprised and pleased when she was notified her guards would be honored.
CVTC member Robbyn Battles said the idea to honor the guards came out of the first council executive meeting of the year.
“We wanted to honor those that made an impact in the community. It was Harry Leon that brought up the idea for the crossing guard and then I just ran with it,” Battles said.
President Cheryl Davis said it was perfect timing to honor the guards that help the community kids.
“[Glendale Unified School District’s] Superintendent Richard Sheehan is going to be at our meeting on Thursday,” Davis said.
Battles agreed that it would be a perfect time assuming that more parents will be in the audience to hear Sheehan speak.
“[The crossing guards] get yelled at and almost hit by cars everyday,” Battles said.
Battles has worked on making the path to elementary school safe. She worked with Monte Vista Elementary parents and Principal Dr. Susan Hoge to develop an additional student drop off area for parents as well as clearing traffic sightlines. She worked with Los Angeles Public Works, California Highway Patrol and other agencies to build a sidewalk so children would not have to walk onto the street.
In her continuing effort for school safety she is now in the process of looking into another crossing guard for Mountain Avenue Elementary.
“The parents really want another guard at El Sereno and Mountain avenues,” Battles said.
She has started discussions with Mountain Avenue Principal Rebeca Witt on the possibility of getting another crossing guard and what the school and the council can do together to make the walk to school safer.
“Our crossing guards need to be honored for what they do,” Battles said.