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Friday, February 1, 2013

The Crossing Guard

Despite the frigid weather, with a wind chill dropping the temperature to five above zero, many of our secondary level learners patiently lined both sides of the street in front of our school today. They were paying tribute to the former crossing guard who not only shepherded them safely across the busy intersection adjacent to the school, but also performed the same ritual for most of their parents.

Dorothy "Dot" Jordan passed away on Tuesday. She was in her eighties when she retired at the end of the 2010-11 school years following thirty-four years as a crossing guard in Green Island stationed at that same traffic intersection. During that time she fulfilled her duty no matter the weather. Her last year as crossing guard coincided with my first year as superintendent. I shared her post, separated by ten or fifteen yards as I welcomed our learners into school each morning.

I marveled at her resilience and her compassion for children. She bore seven of her own. In addition to her position as a crossing guard she also worked as a seamstress. There were times when I met her in the morning with a pair of pants that needed to be hemmed or some other modification. She always smiled and waved to me each morning. She knit mittens for many of the younger children and gave them small gifts just before breaking for the winter holidays. She had candy treats for them at Halloween. She could be counted on each and every school day to diligently watch over those navigating that intersection. She was consistently cordial to all and persistently dedicated to her responsibilities.

Her generosity has extended beyond her years. Rather than flowers, her family had requested that contributions be made to the "Mrs. Jordan's Kids" program to benefit young children at Heatly School who may need a helping hand. She was that special.

In her honor, three of the members of our senior class served as honorary crossing guards, ushering the hearse and funeral procession through that very same intersection outside our school while other learners stood solemnly as they flanked the road and watched the parade of vehicles slowly advance. It was a fitting tribute in the memory of someone who served the children of our community for over three decades.

Good bye Dot, and thank you for all you've done for the kids of Green Island.

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