No running!

Published 11:30 pm Friday, June 3, 2011

Patroller: Safety patroller Ben Sammons, a fifth grader at Nansemond Parkway Elementary School, makes sure his fellow students make it safely to their buses. For his hard work all year, the Tidewater AAA named Sammons to the 2010-2011 Safety Patrol Hall of Fame.

Two named to Safety Patrol Hall of Fame

Two local elementary students have been named to the Tidewater AAA Safety Patrol Hall of Fame for their commitment to make their schools safer.

Ben Sammons, a fifth grader at Nansemond Parkway Elementary School, and Aliyyah Copeland, a fifth grader at Southwestern Elementary School, were both inducted into the hall of fame.

Sammons said he decided to join Safety Patrol this year, because he remembers his kindergarten year when the school didn’t have a patrol.

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“There were a lot of accidents, and I wanted to see if I could stop that,” he said.

Nansemond Parkway guidance counselor and safety patrol sponsor Chanda Pittman said Sammons goes above and beyond what is asked of him to perform his duties.

“He’s always the student who does the right thing,” she said. “He’s always ready to go from the start.”

Sammons, one of about 20 safety patrollers, keeps post during the busiest times of day to make sure his fellow students move safely to their destinations and avoid running, tripping, falling and pushing.

He said the hardest time of day to patrol is in the afternoon, when students are making their way to their buses.

“Once everyone gets out of class and rushes to their buses, that’s the time they are most likely to run,” he said.

Sammons uses a commanding yet polite tone to remind other students to slow down and take their time.

He said what makes him a good safety patroller is always being on time and never having other people cover his post.

“Even when I don’t want to, I’m always on post,” Sammons said.

Also, he tries to lead by example when he isn’t on duty by walking on the right side of the hallway and practicing other safe habits.

“I always go with the safest decision, not the easiest but the safest,” Sammons said.

He said being named to the Safety Patrol Hall of Fame makes him feel like he’s being rewarded for his hard work.

Aside from Safety Patrol, Sammons participates in chorus, student council association, the Odyssey of the Mind team and the YMCA swim team. He also received straight A’s the school year.

Southwestern’s Aliyyah Copeland also was selected for the hall of fame. Earlier this year, AAA also named Copeland the Safety Patroller of the Year.

Southwestern teacher assistant and co-sponsor of safety patrol Tammy Spruill said she and co-sponsor Donna Scarbel are proud of Copeland for her achievements as part of the safety patrol.

“It shows hard work pays off and being a respectful and responsible student can get you far,” she said. “It’s important to give the other students a role model to look after, someone who works hard and is succeeding.”

Sammons and Copeland each will receive a $100 U.S. savings bond, a certificate of achievement and tickets to a Virginia Beach soccer game and Colonial Williamsburg. They will be honored, along with nine other inductees, at a dinner today at Lake Wright Hotel in Norfolk.