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City Honors Former Crossing Guards

October 15, 2000|JOSH KARP

Simi Valley will honor three former school crossing guards for their long service to the community at the City Council meeting Monday.

Nino Bettinelli, Marian Dennis and Vera Myers each worked part-time for the city at local schools. Bettinelli, who died last year, worked more than 19 years at Cochran Street and Tracy Avenue for Garden Grove Elementary students. Dennis spent 13 years at Winifred Street and Cochran Street for Santa Susana Elementary students. And Myers worked 19 years at Madera Road and Royal Avenue, helping Madera Elementary students cross the street.

The city will present the honorees or their families and friends with plaques in their honor.

"They were totally devoted to the safety of the schoolchildren," said Sandra Thompson, a community services specialist with the city who coordinates the school crossing guards program. "They did their job with great enthusiasm."

Simi Valley pays for 20 crossing guards who serve 14 elementary schools and assist an estimated 1,000 elementary school children each week, Thompson said. Crossing guards work about 20 hours per week.

The city gives service awards to longtime employees. Crossing guards must work at least 10 years to be recognized, Thompson said.

Myers, who retired from her post last year for health reasons, loved her job.

"When you work with kids, there is always something new," said the 77-year-old, who has lived in Simi Valley for 36 years. "When they get out of school, the guard is about the first person they see before they get home. You kind of take over as grandma or grandpa."

The council will meet at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 2929 Tapo Canyon Road.

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