Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Who are the people in your School's neighborhood?

I thought it would be fun to do a short bio on some of the people whom we greet each day as we pass on the way to school.
The crossing guards are part-time employees of DDOT. Their daily hours are 8:00am-10:00am and 2:00pm-4:00pm. Ludlow Taylor has two crossing guards positioned at 8th and G and positioned at 7th and G.

The crossing guard with the cheery disposition at 8th and G NE is Ms. Frieda Brooks. She's been working on behalf of our school since last April but has already begun to learn many of the students names as she greets them on their daily commute. The second most heavily used bus line in the city crosses this intersection. Also, many morning commuters who bail off of H street, use G Street as their alternative. I watch them frequently as they run the stop signs in front of my house. For these reasons it is important to have a guard posted here.

At 7th and G is Ms. Ann Kay. She has been guarding this crossing for the last four years and also knows many of the students and parents names. I'm embarrassed to say that it took me this long to learn her name. When I introduced myself and said I was interested in her work, she lit up with a bright smile and spoke quite passionately about how she views her job. She spoke of the fact that she's covered many of the surrounding intersections but felt that this was the one that needed to be guarded the most. It has the highest volume of students and car traffic. She said that when she's feeling ill she is still inspired to come to work because she worries about the safety of the students and knows that were she to call in sick, DDoT would not send a replacement for her that day. Then with a bright smile, she said that even if she wakes up not wishing to come to work, that the smiles of those she greets always brightens her spirits and she takes inspiration from that.

Each day as you walk up, you may notice a gentleman wearing a cap and greeting the kids as they hop off of the buses. I assumed wrongly that the gentleman worked for the city. This is Pastor Mark Wills. His congregation meets at the school on Sunday mornings. This year he decided that he would volunteer to greet all of the students as they arrive at school each morning. He said that community is a foundation of success in school. If a child is greeted by a warm smile and a hello, it will more likely start their day in a positive manner. Though this is the first year that he's decided to greet the students, he's been involved in various other volunteer projects. In the course of the few years that he's been working with Ludlow-Taylor, this year, he says, is different. There's a new attitude. A positive energy that he has noticed and that makes him excited for the school's future.

Last but certainly not least is Ms. Chantay Powell. She is our school's security officer. You may know of the recent issues regarding Hawk One security going belly-up. If you don't, you can read it on DCist. The contract has been settled with two new companies and Ms. Powell's job is safe -- though all of them are seeking pay not received for the two interim weeks. In spite of all of the recent security saga, Ms. Powell loves Ludlow-Taylor and loves her job. She arrives at 7:30 each morning and works until 7:00pm in the evening. She is a parent herself, though her child goes to a school closer to her home in upper NE. I was somewhat surprised to find out the length of her day. I asked if that meant she got overtime. She said no, but that it's the nature of the job and she's been doing it for nearly 10 years. Ms. Powell has been at Ludlow-Taylor for 4 years. As a parent, she knows the importance of parent involvement in a child's education. She said that she has always been involved in her son's PTA and often done fundraising for her school. In speaking with her she emphasized this point more than once. She said, "If your child goes here, this is YOUR school. How can you not be involved? The success of the school and your child's education are tied to your dedication in seeing the school succeed."

I hope everyone finds this information helpful. For me, it was a pleasure speaking with these folks. I was pleasantly surprised at how happy everyone seemed to be. We often hear negative things about DCPS in the news. I really didn't expect to meet people with such bright dispositions. I'm starting to see that we have many things to boast of at Ludlow-Taylor.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for starting this blog, Mike! It looks like you've been busy. I really appreciate all the energy you and so many of the parents and neighbors have been putting into LT. Please always keep me in mind for tasks when you need someone to delegate to (I'm stronger on the support end than the take-charge end!).