From an Everett Public Schools News Release.
Rowan Evans enters 2018 AAA School Safety Patrol Hall of Fame.
Forest View Principal Darren Larama describes fifth-grader Rowan Evans as proactive and responsible.
“Rowan takes his role seriously,” said Larama. “He works closely with his safety patrol adviser and teammates to ensure students and families are safe.”
Those qualities are also among characteristics AAA of Washington and its panel of judges noted about Evans.
Each year AAA honors ten student patrollers from Washington for their commitment to traffic safety, citizenship, leadership skills and what they add to their schools’ safety patrol programs.
To be selected for the Hall of Fame, patrollers and advisors complete an extensive nomination process including responses to a series of essay questions. The judges selected this year’s top patrollers from more than 40 such nominations from every corner of the state.
The honor comes each year with a special event for young safety-conscious students. This year, the awards ceremony takes place on May 4, 2018, just before the Seattle Mariners game against the Los Angeles Angels. Those in the stands will see ten special students honored before the first pitch flies.
“How appropriate it is for an Everett Public Schools student to be honored,” said Superintendent Gary Cohn.
The program, now an international one, began in 1924 at Garfield Elementary in Everett.
In his book The First 100 Years, local historian Larry E. O’Donnell explained, “The patrol was organized by Everett police officer Bill Tulin and Garfield principal Grover Love after two girls were injured by an automobile. The program was in all Everett schools within two years of its founding. By 1929, it had been adopted in Seattle as well. Within a few years, it had spread across the country. Decades later it was opened up to girls.”
Today AAA partners with local agencies to bring the program to elementary schools across the state. The program’s emphasis on safety and safety education is often credited with helping reduce fatalities of children between five and fourteen years old.
Student patrol colors have changed since 1920 – from white, to orange, to today’s “electric lime.” But the emphasis on safety has remained the same. State law even recognizes school patrollers as having authority to stop traffic in school areas.
RCW 46.61.385 says in part, “It shall be unlawful for the operator of any vehicle to fail to stop his vehicle when directed to do so by a school patrol sign or signal displayed by a member of the school patrol engaged in the performance of his duty and wearing or displaying appropriate insignia, and it shall further be unlawful for the operator of a vehicle to disregard any other reasonable directions of a member of the school patrol when acting in performance of his duties as such.”
Larama is grateful for the rich history of the program and the impact it has on today’s student safety.
“We are grateful for students who volunteer to be on Safety Patrol. Each day they responsibly and safely manage crosswalks, escort primary students to classrooms, help students on and off buses and help manage foot traffic around campus,” said Larama.
He went on to say, “They are here each day because family members bring them early and pick them up late. We are all safer because over 100 years ago this program was born and today’s students and adults work behind the scene to keep it going.”