A crossing guard’s most important job is to make sure children get to and from school safely, but they often do much more than that.
From serving as classroom aides to staffing extracurricular activities, crossing guards are a valued part of their school communities. That’s why AAA recognizes these unsung heroes with its annual Crossing Guard of the Year award.
Recipients of the award demonstrate the highest level of commitment, friendliness, professionalism and safety.
For 2017, Ruthie Zuelich of Washington Elementary School in Phoenix earned the title for Maricopa County.
Here are a few highlights from the more than 30 nominations Zuelich received:
“Ruthie loves and protects the kids as if they were her own.” –Fernando G.
“One morning she was hit by a driver. She was out of work for several weeks with injuries but came back to her beloved students stronger than ever.” –Mary E.
“Her energy, kindness and enthusiasm always remind me of how I want to treat others when I get into work each day.” –Karen H.
Zuelich learned she won the award at a surprise assembly last week. She received a plaque and $500 Visa gift card, courtesy of AAA Arizona. AAA also presented a $500 Visa gift card to the school.
“Ms. Ruthie has been a part of the Washington Family for the last three years. She is an amazing crossing guard that works extra hard to make sure that our students are crossed safely every single day,” said Sean Carney, principal of Washington Elementary School. “Every school needs a person like Ruthie, and we are so thankful that she has found her home here at Washington.”
AAA Arizona began its search for the 10th annual award at the beginning of the school year. Hundreds of nominations were received, describing why their crossing guard deserved the title. AAA traffic safety staff evaluated nominations to select finalists before conducting an observation of each guard performing their duties.
The Crossing Guard of the Year Award is one of the many ways AAA demonstrates its commitment to the community.