Nationwide — Meet Elizabeth Stanton, an 83-year-old African American woman from Norfolk, Virginia who dedicated 56 years of her life to safeguarding local elementary school children. For more than five decades, she stood guard at the same intersection of Hollister and Merrimac Avenues, ensuring the safe passage of kids on their way to and from school.
Stanton began her duty in 1967, seeking a job with flexible hours while she was raising her children. Even after her kids were grown, she remained on her duty, driven by a commitment to doing for other kids what she’d want for her own, she told 13 News Now.
Over her record-breaking career as Norfolk’s longest-serving school crossing guard, Elizabeth covered more than two dozen intersections across the city, including the intersection near the old Bowling Park Elementary School.
Reflecting on her service, Elizabeth now cherishes memories of the people more than the posts. A passerby who recognized her at her old spot took a moment to express gratitude for safely guiding him, his sister, and his daughter to school
Graciously acknowledging the recognition, Stanton said, “It’s good when somebody stops and recognizes you. It makes you feel good that your work won’t be in vain.”
In August 2023, after 56 remarkable years, Elizabeth officially retired, a decision not taken lightly. Despite the desire to continue, she realized it was time to let go.
Looking back on her extraordinary career, Elizabeth has no regrets. She rarely took a day off and stood firm despite the rain, snow, hail, or shine. As she embraces retirement, Elizabeth treasures the beautiful days and the moments she has spent.
“Encouraging the kids, you know, getting them across the street, looking forward to seeing them in the evening… that’s been my life,” she said.
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