PIKESVILLE, MD – The Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education awarded three BCPS elementary school students with 2017-18 Outstanding AAA School Safety Patrol Awards during the foundation’s annual luncheon on May 15 in Pikesville.
The honored students, who were accompanied by their parents and several BCPS administrators, are Waverly Iriarte of Villa Cresta Elementary School, Jayda Morgan of Perry Hall Elementary School, and Marissa Ricketts of Woodbridge Elementary School.
Each of the three was recognized for her dedication to keeping students, staff, and visitors safe as they crossed streets, boarded or debarked buses, or traveled in the school building or on school grounds. The students also were honored for being mentors or providing assistance to fellow students.
School safety patrols have helped keep children safe on their way to and from school since 1920, said Myra Wieman, traffic safety program manager for the foundation. “Today’s honorees are outstanding examples of the positive results that can be achieved by practicing (Safety Patrol) criteria,” she said. “Today, we’re here to honor your dedication, courage, and commitment.”
About Waverly Iriarte, luncheon emcee Jennifer Gilbert of WBFF-TV said, “When Waverly is on patrol duty, there is never a hint of distraction or silliness. Her post is just inside the school doors, and her assignment is to escort Kindergarten and PreK students to their classrooms. She has learned the name of every student and has calmed the anxiety of 3, 4 and 5 year olds who have misgivings about leaving their parents.”
Waverly, an excellent student, would like to be an emergency room doctor when she begins her career.
As captain, Gilbert said, Jayda Morgan is in charge of 31 patrollers and responsible for the dismissal of 780 students in 15 minutes. “Jayda humbly takes care of any issue, without allowing the event to bother or upset her. Her fellow patrollers say that Jayda ‘knows what she is doing,’ and younger students say they feel safe when she is on duty,” Gilbert said.
In addition to her role as safety patrol captain, Jayda organizes food and clothing drives and is a competitive gymnast. She plans on a career as a physical therapist.
Marissa Ricketts is assigned to one of the busiest crossings at Woodbridge Elementary, according to Gilbert, with pedestrian traffic at her post averaging more than 10 people at one time. “She was given this assignment because teachers were confident that she would do a good job. By remaining vigilant, countless accidents may have been prevented,” Gilbert said.
Marissa, who seeks to become a mechanical engineer following school, plays the piano and is an avid soccer player.
Each of the award winners, who were among 11 honored at the luncheon from more than 93,000 safeties from the mid-Atlantic region, received a gift card and plaque.