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This fifth-grader is a Hall of Famer
POULSBO — There’s a lot of hustle and bustle at the day’s start and end at Poulsbo Elementary School. Students go to and from buses while parents and guardians wait to pick up their children or visit the school.
Unregulated, the school grounds with more than 500 students would be a mess. However, there are a select few who help keep students, teachers, and visitors safe.
Poulsbo Elementary’s Safety Patrol works five days a week to ensure accidents don’t happen. And one patroller among them is being recognized for his elite work.
Ryan Pugh, a fifth-grader, was selected as one of 10 safety patrollers in Washington for the 2014 AAA School Safety Patrol Hall of Fame. The Poulsbo resident was recognized for his accomplishment during the April 10 school board meeting.
“I was shocked,” Ryan said. He didn’t show much emotion, though, because he didn’t want to be boastful in front of his peers.
The Safety Patrol occupies 10 stations on school grounds before and after school. There are two groups, which switch off every week. Their duties include helping people across the parking lot, which includes directing traffic; greeting people; reporting dangerous drivers; and checking classes out for the day as teachers bring students to their buses.
The students on patrol are selected based on recommendations from staff, class participation, leadership skills, and their availability. They are interviewed and narrowed down to 20 students.
When selected, the patrol trains for the duties it will have throughout the school day. The patrollers perform a pledge with Poulsbo Police at the beginning of the year.
Ryan’s main reason for joining was because his sister had been involved in it, he said. Helping students make it on the bus, and make it home safely, is the most important part of the job.
“It’s important because you get to be here everyday. You get to help kids who might need help crossing the street … getting home,” he said. The patrol makes it safe, he said.
Ryan was nominated to be a Hall of Fame inductee by adviser Terri Marshall. AAA Washington and a panel of judges from the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission select the top patrollers.
More than 50 patrollers were nominated this year.
Ryan is the second student from Poulsbo Elementary to be inducted in the hall of fame, and the third to be nominated. Sarah Hemmett was inducted in 2010.
Nominees must answer essay questions regarding their work as patrollers.
In response to why being on the patrol is important, Ryan wrote: “… It gives me a chance to help my school and fellow classmates on keeping safety in mind. It is also an incentive to continue my good behavior.” He wrote that a patroller acts as a role model by being respectful to teachers, playing fair and not bullying at recess, and by always doing the right thing.
“Ryan is a role model, leader, and advocates for safety,” Marshall wrote in her recommendation. She said Ryan takes “great pride in his duties.” Ryan sets “high standards” for the patrol and himself, she wrote.
“[Ryan] does not look to be recognized, he simply has a great attitude and gives 100 percent to all he does.”
Though Ryan may not seek recognition for the work he’s done, he has a little more on the way. Before the Seattle Mariners go up against the Kansas City Royals May 9, Ryan and the nine other inductees will be recognized at Safeco Field during the opening ceremonies.
It’s a recognition that will long be remembered by Ryan, a baseball fan and North Kitsap Little League ballplayer.