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Crossing guard superstar


photo by Joshua Krob

Crossing guard Larry Miller chats with students after school while helping them cross Lockwood Boulevard. Miller gets to know all the students he serves, developing personal relationships through positive daily conversations.

Miller has worked as a crossing guard at Lawton Elementary School, Jackson Heights Middle School, Geneva Elementary School and Hagerty. He loves finding ways to make students’ days better, such as giving each student their own nickname based on what they are wearing, carrying or doing.

“I might make you a promise, like, ‘You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna get you a deal with Walt Disney so you can be in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,’ They love that. [Some of] them come to school with different costumes on, I said, ‘Wait a minute, we got a circus at school?’ One year they had a pumpkin patch where you could [go through a] maze and I watched two guys go through that maze walking backwards and I said, ‘You know what, gentlemen? Y’all are the greatest guys at Hagerty,’” Miller said.

He always makes a big impact on the students that he helps cross, even if they only see him for a small amount of time.

“One day when we came back from Christmas break I said, ‘Man, I am glad to be back out here. I missed all the students’ and one replied, ‘I missed crossing with you too,’ and I said, ‘Oh, my gosh. Wait a minute,’” Miller said. “‘Hold it right there. Hold it. You mean to tell me you missed the crossing guard?’ She said, ‘Yeah, man. I missed you. I’m glad to be back with you,’ and I said, ‘You know? That is unbelievable, I need to go tell my boss this.’”

In the 10 years that he has been a crossing guard he has won many awards, including two for being the best crossing guard in the county, the Golden Whistle. Miller was the first crossing guard to ever win more than one. Most recently, Miller was named the best crossing guard in the state by the Florida Department of Transportation

Miller attributes his awards to the students and teachers at Hagerty, amazed that a QR code to vote for him was in nearly every class and that students were rallying support from their peers to vote for him. 

“I was really, really, really happy. I didn’t want to cry, I was trying not to, but I was just so happy,” Miller said. “I still owe it all to Hagerty High School–they really got behind me. I’ve benefited from being at Hagerty, no doubt about it.”

His wife, Gracia Miller, was similarly taken aback, warmed by the fact that the whole community rallied together to vote for him to be named the best in the state.

When I heard it, I saw it on the screen and I went, ‘What?’ and cried. I was shocked, but very glad. Glad and proud that people thought so well of him,” Gracia said.


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