RIALTO, Calif. (KABC) — At 82, Patricia Woods is strong and popular with students, their parents and teachers. When the bell rings, the whistle sings! It’s the start of another shift for the experienced border guard.
“Every child I have met is my baby. I don’t care what his last name is, I don’t care who his mom or dad is, that’s my baby,” Woods said.
She has attended Hughbanks Elementary School in Rialto since retiring as a munitions inspector 20 years ago. During her time there, Woods saw a lot.
“I saw people driving on the sidewalk. I’ve seen people go over the speed bump and end up in other people’s yards,” she said.
There were hot days, cold days and very windy days.
“I used to think I was going to be Mary Poppins because the wind was blowing so hard and I had the sign and it felt like I was flying down the street!” laughed Woods.
Woods was recently recognized by the Rialto Unified School District for her service. Not just because of her commitment over the last 20 years, but also because of her demeanor in the workplace.
“For some of our children, it is the first adult they meet on the way to school and it is priceless to be greeted by someone with such a valuable attitude, reassuring them that they are safe when crossing the street. “,” said Dr. Cuauhtemoc Avila of RUSD.
As headmaster Dr. When Danielle Osonduagwuike started working there three years ago, she was confident she wouldn’t have a problem when it came to the border guard.
“And I heard…you don’t have to worry at all, Miss Pat is here for you,” said Dr. Osonduagwuike.
Woods says no student has ever been injured during her time on duty – and never will be. Not only does she have boundless energy, but she also has a sense of humor. But we had to wonder: Is she about to hang up her vest and give up her stop sign and whistle?
“I keep saying, OK, I’ll stay home at the end of the school year, but I don’t know. When the time comes, I think I’ll really know and just stay home. But that time hasn’t come yet.” ….not gone today: she said.