As the volunteer crossing guard in front of for years, Bill Wright has seen everything.
“It’s amazing how some parents think they own the road,” he says. “I tell them, ‘You need to go over here’ and they are in their fancy cars and the kids are running across the street and they pull out of the intersection in a rush. It’s incredible.”
Before he took the job as crossing guard, this Eagle Scout broke up a fight between two dads who were driving erratically in front of the school.
The then-new principal Joe Martinez saw Wright break it up. “Joe saw me stop the fisticuffs and how I broke it up and said, ‘I need you to continue doing this.' ”
GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS: As if the Crossing Guard job wasn’t enough, Wright has been the room parent every year for his daughter, Monie, since she was in Kindergarten six years ago. “I got to know the parents and got to know the kids, while helping out in class,” he said.
“Then I took over the Lost and Found and I took pictures of every single item and put it on the website,” he recalls. “I had parents say they were finding things that they had no idea was missing, then they’d come down to the school to get it.”
He’s worked security for the movie night over the past few years, and he’s donned the school superhero outfit of Zero the Hero on the 100th day of school—but everyone knew who he was.
FAVORITE MEMORY: He taught bread making to the first graders. “The look of the kids’ faces when we brought in the bread from the oven was incredible,” he remembers. “Getting the parents involved in kneading the bread and helping out was fun.”
Wright’s oldest daughter is at Notre Dame High School, and Monie is headed for Immaculate Heart. He will miss being active in the schools, he says, “They don’t want you walking with them anymore.”
WISHES FOR THE FUTURE FOR SCHOOL: “I hope they will continue to have a great deal of parent involvement in the school. The other honorees are the same people doing a lot of the work, and when I leave I hope there are others to take up the slack. I hope so. You worry about that.”
The fourth grade parents already are preparing for the challenge of raising money for the fifth grade class trip to Washington, D.C. that they plan every year. They didn’t want to go into it blind, and have asked for advice. They now need to raise about six times the amount of scholarships than they have in the past.
When Wright was asked to be one of the year’s nominees, he had 103 fever and could barely move. He agreed to anything.
“They wouldn’t let me back out of it, but then they asked me who I would like to invite to the ceremony for when I get the award and I looked at the list and I said, ‘They’re with me. All my friends who I’d want with me are being honored, too!’ “
Find out more about Carpenter's fundraiser here:
Check out all the Carpenter Honorees