They stand guard in Ottawa’s intersections every morning and every afternoon when the school bells ring. They are out there in 35-below temperatures, rain, snow, dust and heat. They risk dangerous traffic and deal with aggressive motorists. They are the Adult Crossing Guards of the City of Ottawa!
Every Spring the Ottawa Safety Council encourages schools and the community to participate in the Ottawa’s Favorite Crossing Guard contest and vote online at our website for their Crossing Guard. These votes help us pick a deserving Guard each year to be presented with the Marie Armstrong Crossing Guard Award (link) and a $500 cash prize!
This year the award went to Monique Laviolette – a Crossing Guard who has been with the Ottawa Safety Council for nearly 9 years now and currently works in a busy intersection that services the community of Rockliffe Park and Rockliffe Park Public School students. Monique is a grandparent of 6 grandchildren, but she considers all of the children that cross at her intersection as if they are her own. In her free time she enjoys biking, walking and doing crafts. Monique’s husband Ben is also one of our dedicated Crossing Guards.
In selecting Ottawa’s Favorite Crossing Guard, several factors are taken into consideration including attention to pedestrian safety, customer service, attitude, punctuality, use of proper crossing technique, attendance (Monique has only been absent 4 days out of the over 1500 school days that she has been a Crossing Guard!) and, of course, votes and feedback from the students, parents and community!
Here are some of the wonderful comments that the community submitted with their votes for Monique:
I cannot imagine a better crossing guard than Monique. She is unfailingly happy, regardless of how miserable the weather. She always greets the children and parents with her warm smile. She knows the names of many of the children. She always performs her duties professionally and the traffic respects her authority. She is a pleasure to see every morning and every afternoon, and is an integral part of our school community. Such a good person deserves special recognition and praise! – Parent
Regardless of the weather, Monique is always cheerfully greeting the students and parents alike as they arrive at the school. She is very aware of her safety and does not hesitate to call parents or students on behaviour that is not in line with it. Even if we don’t use her crossing, she still says hello and greets both of my children by name. I am amazed at her professionalism and warmth of character. She is a model representative of what crossing guards should be! Thank you Monique! – Parent
We have known Monique for the past 6 years. She has rarely missed a day to be the first person who greets my children on their school day. She is amazing, knows the names off all the kids who cross there, she always has an encouraging word to all and she is very safety conscious. – Parent
She is friendly, reliable, conscientious, responsible. Students and parents alike appreciate her smile and her attentiveness, and she takes her job seriously. She has come to our class and talked to us about her work as a Crossing Guard. She is well appreciated by our school staff. – Member of the School Faculty
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Monique and the 174 other Adult Crossing Guards across the City. The next time you see an Adult Crossing Guard, why not give them a wave and a smile so they know that they are appreciated? They are dedicated to keeping our kids safe and there is no more noble a job than that!