News  MassDOT Announces Winners of the 2023 Safe Routes to School Crossing Guard of the Year Awards

  • Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Boston The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), through its Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Safe Routes to School Crossing Guard of the Year contest awards. The contest, which began in 2021, seeks to recognize and highlight the important role that crossing guards play in helping students and families safely access schools throughout the Commonwealth.

“Crossing guards play an integral role in school communities throughout the Commonwealth by helping to support the safe travel of students and families to and from school,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Gina Fiandaca. “We are pleased to recognize this year’s winners who were nominated by families and school and community members because of their special contributions within each community and for their exemplary level of service, proactive safety-focused actions they perform, and their enthusiasm and dedication in keeping the individuals they serve safe.”

This year’s Crossing Guard of the Year Program began with nominations submitted from partnering school communities and included a dedicated Crossing Guard Appreciation Day which was held on March 22, 2023. Approximately 175 crossing guard nominations were submitted for consideration from over 35 statewide communities. 

Representatives from SRTS partner schools, including school faculty and staff, parents, and community members completed an online nomination form asking the following questions: “How does your Crossing Guard go above and beyond to keep students safe? How is your Crossing Guard special? Do they do anything unique that makes them stand out? Does your Crossing Guard participate in any school/community events? How many years have they been a Crossing Guard?” In addition, nominators were encouraged to upload photos of their Crossing Guard in action. Nominations were evaluated by the Safe Routes to School team and MassDOT based on stories of safety and dedication to their job.

The program award categories, successful recipients and school affiliations for this year’s contest are as follows:

  • Crossing Guard of the Year: Debbie Lang - Warren-Prescott School in Boston.
  • Honorable Mention: Dr. James Cummings - Superintendent of the Grafton Public Schools.
  • Crossing Guard Champions:
    • Linda Carella - Hardy Elementary School in Arlington.
    • Cheryl Anziano - Herbert V. Bowie Elementary School in Chicopee.
    • Claire MacPherson - Pierce School in Brookline.

The winners will be recognized at the Annual Safe Routes to School Awards Ceremony that is scheduled to be held on Thursday, June 8, 2023.

The Massachusetts SRTS Program, sponsored by MassDOT and with funds from the Federal Highway Administration, promotes safer routes for students to actively get to and from school by fostering partnerships between community-led organizations, local law enforcement, education leaders, and public health departments.  The program currently serves more than 1,080 schools in over 270 communities across the Commonwealth.  Through these partnerships, the program highlights the importance of pedestrian and bicycle safety, and provides information, materials, and resources to support schools and communities with their local SRTS initiatives.

For more information on the Safe Routes to School Program visit:


For more MassDOT news and updates visit:

  • Massachusetts Department of Transportation 

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