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School district looking for substitute crossing guards

December 9, 2011
By J.T. Whitehouse
Austintown Local School District is looking to add substitute crossing guards to its rosters to ensure the children’s safety on the way to school. At the present time there are eight crossing guards covering nine crossings around the main campus and at Woodside Elementary. When someone gets sick or can’t make it to their crossing, it is hard to find someone to fill in.

According to Austintown Schools supervisor of crossing guards, Kathy Senvisky, she has seen principals, teachers and even maintenance employees jump in to keep the students safe. She said if there were substitutes, it would be easier to ensure a busy intersection is covered.

“It would be great to either find someone who drops their kids off early at school, or is retired and looking to make a little pocket money,” Senvisky said.

The position pays $5.30 per crossing per day. A guard could have three separate time periods to staff an intersection, so a person who works all morning covering elementary, intermediate and middle school, and high school, would be covering three crossings.

One of the few drawbacks to the position is that each candidate is required to pay for a background check before they are eligible to work around children.

The district’s Director of Curriculum Dan Bokesch said he realizes the position doesn’t pay an enormous amount, but he hopes someone will step up.

“The problem is that it is hard to find someone willing to just wait for when they are needed for just five bucks,” Bokesch said.

Senvisky said if someone was interested and wanted a little more, one of the present eight crossing guards may be willing to split the shift to give someone a more regular pay. She said the guards get paid once a month and it could bring in a couple hundred dollars.

Crossing guards are nothing new to the district, of course.

“We’ve always had them,” Bokesch said. “Years ago, the crossings were handled by patrol boys, who used STOP flags on a long pole.”

He said today the task requires adults because the traffic is much heavier. That fact, coupled with excess traffic from the construction of the new schools has created a major traffic flow around Frank Ohl and Watson. Besides three crossing guards at Woodside Elementary, the district also places a guard at Frank Ohl, Fitch and AMS, as well as one between Frank Ohl and Watson, and one each at the intersections of Idaho Road and Westchester Drive and Idaho Road and Woodhurst Drive.

Anyone interested in earning a few dollars while protecting the school children can contact Bokesch at 330-797-3900, ext. 1502.

“I would be happy if we just picked up one substitute,” Senvisky said.

Bokesch agreed with her and holds all the Austintown crossing guards in high esteem.

“For what they do and for what they are compensated, bless them,” he said.

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Austintown Schools supervisor of crossing guards Kathy Senvisky displays the tools of her trade, a yellow vest and a hand-held stop sign that she uses every school day to get children across busy intersections near the main campus. She is currently looking to add a few substitutes to her roster to ensure children will always be safe on the way to school.



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