NewsNBC26 Cares


School crossing guards get extra recognition during a special week in Wisconsin

Posted at 8:39 PM, Jan 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-07 18:01:02-05

GREEN BAY, Wis. — It's Adult Crossing Guard Recognition Week in Wisconsin. It's a time to thank those who put their own safety at risk to keep your children safe.

Every school day, Kathy Konop reports to the same street corner in Green Bay. At Laverne and Humboldt, she helps about 20 students a day cross the busy intersection to get safely to Baird Elementary School.

"I love the kids," she said. "They learn to trust me and so that just feels good."

"Miss Kathy does an excellent job, because she goes above and beyond in any situation that arises. If there's a student she sees that's kind of milling around that doesn't have a ride, she'll text me and let me know, 'Hey, so and so is out here. Do you want to call the parent?' And you know, I've done that," explained Associate Principal Nate Beranek.

Kathy knows all of her walkers by name and even in the harsh Wisconsin winters, you'll find her at her post.

"Snow, rain, shine, they're out here and she has a smile on her face greeting everyone," Beranek said.

The only time you'll see Kathy get cranky is when drivers don't slow down.

"I see it almost everyday like whoa, almost accidents or people flying through."

To get drivers' attention, she altered the stop sign she holds. She added another sign that reads 'Slow Down. Speed Limit 15MPH.' Kathy puts herself in harm's way to protect the kids from dangerous situations.

"That's the stuff that I like about the job is being to just help kids and I don't know, make a difference in the world maybe a little bit. Just a little."

The students are showing their appreciation by making handmade cards for Kathy to say thank you during Adult Crossing Guard Recognition Week.

"It's really cute how they sign 'Saving my life.' Yeah, OK guys," she chuckled.

Beranek said, "I'm happy we're celebrating them. They deserve it."

But Kathy insists it's just all in a day's work that she loves.

"You do it because it's something to give back."

Kathy, who is a retiree, has served 15 years of her life as a dedicated crossing guard. In Green Bay, the guards are hired by the city.