When the 69 fifth graders in Mexico elementary schools don their safety gear to help other students, they are joining the ranks of many famous former safety patrol members. Through the years, presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger, and former Chrysler Corporation Chair Lee Iacocca have all been safety patrol members.
This year, more than a half a million students are expected to be safety patrol members. At Mexico, the students are chosen on the basis of responsibility, good citizenship, leadership, excellent attendance and dedication.
"As fourth graders, students fill out an application," Holly Pashia, Hawthorne Elementary School principal, said. "These applications are reviewed and voted on by their teachers and other staff members."
The students receive training, and then become safety patrol members after initiation during the beginning of their fifth grade years. The students have to pass a safety patrol test before initiation.
"Students must be responsible citizens in our school," Christine Harper, Eugene Field Elementary School principal, said. "They cannot have excessive behavior issues. They must also be in good standing academically."
The safety patrol members serve for the entire school year. "They are scheduled for either a morning or afternoon shift, and are expected to work their assigned shift," Harper said. "This program teaches students the responsibility of having a job. It also gives them an opportunity to be a positive role model."
There are teacher coordinators of the program in each of the schools: Daniel Nunnelly at Eugene Field, Bobbi Cooley and Julie Talley at Hawthorne, and Abbey Magoffin and Ellen Vaught at McMillan.
"We believe safety patrol gives students a leadership role," Vaught said. "It helps give them opportunities for responsibility in the school and community environment while keeping the younger students safe. During safety patrol, they are also learning to work with a schedule."
The safety patrol members have posts inside and outside the three school buildings. "We feel this is an important service to the students of our school," Pashia said. "We strive to keep students safe crossing our streets and in our building."
Eugene Field safety patrol members: Anieyah Aaron, Maykayla Alexander, Keyoreon Belcher, Dante Billips, Alexis Boner, Terrion Campbell, Brennen Clubb, Kulee Erwin, Hayley Hannon, Emily Holt, Evelyn Holt, Ja'Vone Hornbeak, Jodi Jennings, Traven Kamrowski, Lillian Knipfel, Mason Lower, Collin Martin, Addison McCoy, Joseph Mitchell, Jordan Mitchell, Angel Nichols, Abigail Oetting, Abigail Prater, Tyler Prince, Tyler Quinlan, Jasmine Rucker, Amelia Runge, Jade Sailor-Creech, Jamie Schrader, Moenaisa Sidique, Trista Swon, Matthew Taylor and Brenan Wilson.
Hawthorne safety patrol members: Shadyn Cross, Amya Estill, Noah Harlan, Melina Helling, Haydet Herrera-Garcia, Justine James, Caitlyn Long, Adam Love, Stephanie Mendez, Sydney Mills, Allyson Mosley, Grant Norfleet, Kate Nowlin, Ciara Patrick, Grant Qualls, Rozallyn Schneider, Ian Williams, Alex Wilson and Zach Woods.
Page 2 of 2 - McMillan safety patrol members: Quinten Campbell, Jonathon Chatfield, Tiana Cook, Jordan Crow, Kaitlyn Funk, Madison Head, Eva Hendren, Zoey Hull, Dymond Kemp, Connor Kelsay, Halie Lamberson, Carter Maxwell, Elizabeth Nichols, Nayeli Ruiz, Tyler Scheiner, Nova Sullivan and Triston Walker.