Unsung Heroes #133

Alert “06880” reader Bob Weingarten writes:

Each morning while on a coffee run I drive by Greens Farms Elementary School. I see the same person holding a stop sign to control traffic, and ensure the safety of children crossing the street.

This has been going on for years. It is a tribute to our school system, and the Westport Police Department that controls the program.

The other day I stopped and talk to the crossing guard. Jerry Meehan told me he had been doing this for nearly 8 years.

Jerry Meehan at work …

He had just helped Case and Jasper get to school. Jerry normally chats with moms and dads after assisting children. Today he also gave a dog a little treat.

The old adage for mail carriers applies to them, though modified slightly: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers (school guards) from the swift completion of their appointed rounds (tasks).”

Every day the guards protect our children for 2 hours before the opening of school, and 2 hours after it ends. Jerry works from 7:05 to 9 a.m., and 2 to 4 p.m.

The program is run by Lieutenant Jill Cabana of the Westport Police. There are 6 crossing guards, and 1 alternate. All have been working for at least 3 years, except Brienna Meier who started this fall.

… which also includes chatting with parents, and giving a dog a treat. (Photo/Bob Weingarten)

“They all do wonderful jobs,” Cabana says. “They are at school crossings on sunny days and inclement weather. The guards are another set of eyes and ears for us, making sure that everyone get to their destination in one piece.

“They are polite. They chitchat with moms, dads and kids, and are really unsung heroes.  They deserve recognition.”

Let’s recognize them by name:

  • Jerry Meehan (Greens Farms Elementary School, at Morningside Drive South)
  • Richard Space (Kings Highway Elementary School at Post Road West and Burr Road)
  • William Wanat (Long Lots Elementary School at Maple Avenue North and Hyde Lane)
  • Joan Lasprogato (Long Lots Elementary School at Hyde Lane and Long Lots Road)
  • Mary DelFlorio (Coleytown Elementary School at North Avenue and Easton Road)
  • Brienna Meier (Kings Highway Elementary School at Post Road West and Lincoln Street)
  • Kathryn O’Reardon (alternate).

Westport’s children, parents, teachers — and drivers: Thank you all!

(To nominate an Unsung Hero, email dwoog@optonline.net)

4 responses to “Unsung Heroes #133

  1. I didn’t realize Joan Lasprogato was still doing this—good for her. Are students still involved in this in any way?

    I remember being very proud of my brother when he was chosen to be a captain of the crossing guards in 6th grade at PS 179 in Fresh Meadows, Queens. He wore some kind of white strap paraphernalia with a badge on it which, to me as a second grader at the time, was the height of cool.

  2. John Mirk '69

    Wondering if Richard Space is related to Ray Space, bus driver extraordinaire, who saved Chickie Macarthur’s life back around 1961 or so.

    • Alison Sternberg (for Richard Space)

      Yes, Ray was both mine and Richard’s uncle. He loved driving the bus. Happy to hear that people remember him…

  3. Bob Weingarten

    Shame on all you parents for not commenting and supporting these crossing guards especially on days like this – rain…

    I realize that most elementary children are bused but the crossing guards also assist with traffic control to make sure there are no accidents at the schools. This also goes for parents that drive. I see the guard at the Greens Farms school in the middle of the road directing traffic also and not just making sure that children that cross the street are safe.

    I don’t have any children in elementary school but I still believe that these 6 guards are doing a service which should be recognized.