Becky Beatty School Crossing Guard

For the past 16 years students at Avalon Elementary School have relied on crossing guard Becky Beatty to get them across the street without harm. But they will tell you she’s much morethan that.

“Becky loves our students,” said teacher Donna La Grange. “She encourages them when they are sad or worried. Many students come to school earlier than needed just so they can stand and talk with her before it’s time to cross the street and come into school.”

Teacher Maribel Gonzales said Beatty “goes the extra mile” to protect the students while bringing a positive attitude.“

She doesn’t go home until the last student crosses her street,” Gonzales said “She brings joy into the hearts of our community. Weneed more citizens like Becky in our society today. Becky is the angel of Avalon.”

La Grange and Gonzales were among more than two dozen people ranging from teachers to deputies who wrote letters to the Florida Department of Transportation(FDOT) nominating Beatty for 2017 Florida School Crossing Guard of the Year Award.

FDOT announced Beatty’s selection for the award February 2 as part of School Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, which recognizes the hard work and dedication of those people who keep Florida’s schoolchildren safe as they walk to and from school. FDOT works with law enforcement and provides training across the state to ensure the safety effectiveness of the school crossing guard program.

School crossing guards play an important part to insure the safety of students as they cross highways and roadways, said Sgt. Robert Bredwell of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s Youth Relations Bureau, which oversees the crossing guard program.

“To have one of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s own school crossing guards being selected is such an honor,” Sgt. Bredwell said. “School crossing guard Rebecca Beatty, along with our other crossing guards, are dedicated to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, to the Collier County Public Schools, and most important, to the young adults and children of Collier County.“

Beatty joined the Sheriff’s Office in 1998, starting in the Civil Process Bureau doing data entry. She applied for a crossing guard position on there commendation of her predecessor at Avalon.

“To me it’s not a job,” Beatty said. “The first week I worked and got my first paycheck I felt guilty taking the money for doing this.”

Her commitment goes beyond the crosswalk in front of the elementary school on Thomasson Drive. She offers safety tips during the school’s morning news program. She is a fixture at after-school functions and events. She used her own money to purchase the 6-foot dragon – the school mascot – made out of blue, yellow and white paper cups that adorns the fence in front of the school to instill pride in the students.

Beatty shrugged off the accolades and said she is humbled to have been chosen for the award.

“I just like to do it,” she said of her job. “The people are so nice. People stop and tell me I’m doing a good job. I love the kids and I learn a lot from them.”

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