Elizabeth Stanton: Norfolk’s Dedicated School Crossing Guard Retires After 56 Years of Service

by Gee NY

In the heart of Norfolk, Virginia, one remarkable woman has been a steadfast presence for over half a century, ensuring the safety of local elementary school children.

Meet Elizabeth Stanton, an 83-year-old African American woman whose unwavering commitment has made her the longest-serving school crossing guard in Norfolk.

In 1967, Elizabeth embarked on this journey, seeking a job with flexible hours while raising her own children.

Little did she know that this decision would turn into a record-breaking career spanning 56 years. Even after her own children had grown, Elizabeth remained dedicated to the safety of others, driven by a simple but powerful principle – to do for other kids what she would want for her own.

Over the years, Elizabeth stood guard at more than two dozen intersections across the city, including the intersection near the old Bowling Park Elementary School. Rain or shine, snow or hail, she rarely took a day off, ensuring the safe passage of generations of children on their way to and from school.

Reflecting on her service, Elizabeth now cherishes the memories of the people she encountered more than the posts she held.

Recently recognized by a passerby at her old spot, she received heartfelt gratitude for safely guiding him, his sister, and his daughter to school.

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 an extraordinary 56-year career, Elizabeth officially retired. This decision, though not taken lightly, marked the end of an era. Despite the desire to continue, she realized it was time to let go and embrace a well-deserved retirement.

Looking back on her remarkable journey, Elizabeth Stanton has no regrets. For her, every day spent encouraging and ensuring the safety of the kids crossing the street has been a fulfilling chapter.

As she embarks on the next phase of her life, Elizabeth treasures the beautiful days and the countless moments that have defined her extraordinary career.

“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, leaving behind a legacy of dedication and care that will be remembered in the hearts of the community she served for over five decades.

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