Rialto crossing guard has been on the job for 20 years, loves keeping students safe

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Friday, September 29, 2023
Beloved IE crossing guard honored for keeping kids safe for 20 years
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"Every kid that I've crossed is my baby." Patricia Woods has been a crossing guard for 20 years and has seen it all. The beloved community fixture is still going strong at 82 years young!

RIALTO, Calif. (KABC) -- At 82 years young, Patricia Woods is going strong and is a favorite with students, their parents and educators. When the bell rings, the whistle sings! It's the start of another shift for the veteran crossing guard.

"Every kid that I've crossed is my baby, I don't care what they're last name is, I don't care who their mother or father is, that's my baby," said Woods.

She's been at Hughbanks Elementary in Rialto since she retired as a munitions Inspector 20 years ago. In her time there, Woods has seen a lot.

"I've seen people drive on the sidewalk. I've seen people hit the speedbump and end up in people's yards," she said.

There have been hot days, cold days and very windy days.

"I used to think I was going to be Mary Poppins because the wind would blow so hard and I had the sign and I felt like I was going to be flying down the street!" laughed Woods.

Woods was recently recognized by the Rialto Unified School District for her service. Not only because of her dedication over the past 20 years, but her on-the-job demeanor as well.

"For some of our kids, it's the first adult they encounter on their way to school, and to be received by someone with such a precious attitude, who reassures them that while crossing the street they're going to be safe, is priceless," said Dr. Cuauhtemoc Avila with the RUSD.

When Principal Dr. Danielle Osonduagwuike started there three years ago, she was reassured that when it came to their crossing guard, it wasn't an item that would concern her.

"And I heard... you don't have to worry at all, Miss Pat's got you covered," said Dr. Osonduagwuike.

Woods says she's never had a student injured on her watch - and she says she never will. Not only does she have boundless energy, but quite a sense of humor as well. But we had to ask - is she getting close to hanging up her vest and giving up her stop sign and her whistle?

"I keep saying, OK, the end of the school year, I'm gonna stay at home, but I don't know. When it's time, I think I'll really know and just stay home. But that time's not yet....not today away,: she said.