In celebration of Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, School Crossing Guard Opal Floyd will be presented with the Governor's Award as "Crossing Guard of the Year." The award will be presented to Ms. Floyd on Friday, Feb. 2, 2001, at 3 p.m. at the Sheriff's Office Operations Center in Bartow.
Floyd recently retired after 40 years of crossing students at Lena Vista Elementary. She began her career as a School Crossing Guard with the Polk County Sheriff's Office when her twin sons entered school at Lena Vista in 1960. She remained a dedicated and loyal crossing guard for the next four decades.
Crossing Guard Appreciation Day is a proclamation from Governor Jeb Bush to recognize "those individuals who spend countless hours assisting our children across busy street intersection as they arrive and depart from school."
In Polk County, there are 159 elementary school crossings with approximately 15,000 children using them during the school year. Crossing guards provide an invaluable service to our community in ensuring the safety of our children as they walk to and from school.
School crossing guards, employed by the Polk County Sheriff's Office, receive four hours of state-structured classroom instruction, with an additional two hours of on-the-job training in accordance with the Ramon Turnquest Act. Additionally, school crossing guards receive an annual two-hour re-certification prior to each new school year. The focus of the school crossing guard is to encourage students to cross at proper intersections. School crossing guards also provide information regarding pedestrian and bicycle safety.
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A text only version of this release is also available.