Safe Routes to School


Crossing Guard Appreciation Day

• About  • Resources 2021 Most Outstanding Crossing Guards • Past Most Outstanding Crossing Guard Winners •

Click here to read about the Most Outstanding Crossing Guards of 2021!

We received over 170 nominations for more than 50 crossing guards across the state. It was a pleasure to read through each nomination and hear of the dedicated community members that make traveling to school a safe experience. Selecting the winners is never an easy task, but the six crossing guards below all stood out as highly valued, positive role models in their communities.

What is Crossing Guard Appreciation Day?logo

Crossing Guard Appreciation Day (CGAD) is a statewide event devoted to saying thank you to those who help students cross the street safely on their way to and from school. CGAD has been celebrated in Virginia since 2014.

When is Crossing Guard Appreciation Day?

While the Virginia SRTS Program has designated the second Wednesday of February as Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, we encourage schools and communities to plan their own Crossing Guard Appreciation Day on any day that works for them to recognize the valuable role crossing guards play in making safe routes to school a reality.

Do you like to plan ahead? Put these dates on your calendar now for the coming years:

  • Crossing Guard Appreciation Day 2022 - February 9
  • Crossing Guard Appreciation Day 2023 - February 8

How can my school participate in Crossing Guard Appreciation Day?

Whether simple or elaborate, Crossing Guard Appreciation Day events are a great way to acknowledge the value your crossing guard brings to safe travel to school. Your school may choose to say thank you in person and/or promote the work of your crossing guard in local media.

Your community can also nominate your crossing guard for Virginia's Most Oustanding Crossing Guard Award. Crossing guards are honored by VDOT every year for their dedication to student safety. All nominees are sent letters of appreciation, and winners are sent a certificate and small gift. 

More event ideas are available in the Crossing Guard Appreciation Day Learn It. Do It. Live It! which is available for download along with thank you cards, social media graphics, and a press release template below. 


Crossing Guard Appreciation Day Logo

Learn it. Do it. Live it!

Crossing Guard Appreciation Day LDL

Thank You Cards

Social Media Graphic

Show your crossing guard some love! (PNG)

Social Media Graphic

Thank you for keeping our community safe! (PNG)

Social Media Graphic

Thank You, Crossing Guards! (PNG)

Social Media Graphic

First Smile, Last Smile (JPEG)

Social Media Graphic

Rain, Snow Shine (JPEG)

Social Media Graphic

My crossing guard is the best... (JPEG)

Local Media Resources


Meet 2021's Most Outstanding Crossing Guards!

Ted Bates, John W. Tolbert Elementary (Loudoun)

Ted Bates is a constant friendly presence at John W. Tolbert Elementary. Even if it’s a hot September day or a cold January day, Mr. Ted will always have a big smile on his face as he helps families cross the street. Parents feel so fortunate that he is there to protect their children. This winter, snow covered the sidewalk and crosswalk in front of school, making conditions very slippery and hazardous. Mr. Ted got his own shovel and cleared the sidewalk to make sure families could walk safely. Mr. Ted goes above and beyond to care for students, and Tolbert ES is lucky to have such a dedicated crossing guard! 

Pat Welch, John W. Tolbert Elementary (Loudoun)

Ms. Pat has served as a crossing guard at John W. Tolbert Elementary for many years. She is dedicated to her post. She is always friendly and attentive. Ms. Pat always welcomes children and parents with a hello and a smile. She provides a safe environment before and after school for all the families of the community. Ms. Pat greets every child and adult with a smile, rain or shine, as they cross the street. When it snows, Ms. Pat is always sure to point out icy spots and direct students to the least slippery spots. Students always look forward to talking to Ms. Pat, and she is often the highlight of their day. The Tolbert ES community is so grateful for Ms. Pat!

Angelique Waterson, Butts Road Primary (Chesapeake)

Angelique Waterson does an outstanding job of keeping the children and parents of Butts Road Primary safe every morning and afternoon as they cross a very busy intersection. Officer Angelique is always calm and cheerful while managing the mass of cars, buses, and pedestrians. Butts Road Primary has over 100 drop-offs and many families walking to and from school, and Officer Angelique works tirelessly to keep operations running smoothly. She has been asked to train others as a crossing guard since she does her job so proficiently. Officer Angelique even gave treats to students during the holiday season. The Butts Road Primary community would be lost without Officer Angelique. She is our superhero!

Shaquira Johnson, Tidewater Park Elementary (Norfolk)

Shaquira Johnson protects students, parents, and staff at Tidewater Park Elementary School. Everyone describes Shaquira as caring, friendly, and engaging, and she enjoys passing on her wisdom to the children. Shaquira goes above and beyond to make sure students make it home. One nominee shared that when their child was late to catch the bus, Shaquira asked the bus driver to stay an extra minute so the child could ride the bus. Shaquira has also been known to wait with students if their parents are late to pick them up. Shaquira is a trustworthy and dependent crossing guard, and everyone loves her.

Cora Reed, Lyles Crouch Traditional Academy (Alexandria)

Cora Reed has been taking care of the students at Lyles-Crouch and other Alexandria City Public Schools for years. She is an integral part of the school community and is vital to drop off and pick up. She has a positive and encouraging attitude and is a friend to all. She has a gentle but firm manner, and everyone is very thankful for her watchful eye. Cora teaches students proper pedestrian behaviors and encourages them to make use of the crosswalk. She is reliable and always willing to serve in all weather conditions. Everyone misses her warm smile and kind greeting when she is not at her post. Thank you, Cora, for serving the families of Alexandria!

Shashu Gebre, Alice West Fleet Elementary School and Long Branch Elementary School (Arlington)

The intersection near Fleet Elementary is a busy one in the morning. But instead of chaos, you'll find Shashu Gebre calmly directing traffic for parents and students crossing the street. Everyone knows they are safe and sound when they enter the intersection and see Shashu. Beyond being a crossing guard, Shashu is a very important part of the Alice West Fleet and Long Branch Elementary School communities. She greets everyone with a smile and asks them how they are doing. That warm greeting helps each child and family member start their day out right. One nominee said Shashu sets the tone for other crossing guards across the state. Shashu clearly cares about what she does and cares about her community.

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Page last modified: Feb. 28, 2022