CROSSING HER HEART
Popular Woodlawn Catholic crossing guard Laurie Robin retires
PAWTUCKET – If you’ve ever driven down Weeden Street in the area of Woodlawn Catholic Regional School, odds are you’ve seen Laurie Robin.
She’s hard to miss. While the eyes are drawn to her brightly-colored neon vest and sizeable red stop sign, what’s easiest to see, and what students and faculty at the Pawtucket Catholic school will miss, is her smile.
Robin, a Pawtucket native, retired from her post as crossing guard on Friday after 11 years in the city – the last five at Woodlawn Catholic. To thank her for her half-decade of keeping children safe as they traverse one of the busiest streets in Pawtucket, students at the end of the school day on Friday afternoon gave Robin flowers, balloons, and hand-written thank you cards.
“I’m overwhelmed,” Robin said as she fought back tears on Friday. “I never expected anything like this on my last day. This is too much.”
Robin has been a crossing guard at a variety of Pawtucket schools including Elizabeth Baldwin Elementary School, Joseph Jenks Junior High School, and Shea High School. But she said Woodlawn Catholic has been her favorite post.
“I’ll miss all the kids the most … The snow and the ice, it’s all been worth it because these people have been very nice,” she said. “I’ve been all around the city but this is my favorite.”
Veronica Procopio, principal at Woodlawn Catholic, said that Robin has been a very important part of the children’s day-to-day lives, saying she
greets them in the morning and makes them feel special.
“She knows them and the kids feel special because of it,” Procopio said. “Crossing guards know the kids, they make them feel good at the start and end of the day.”
Meanwhile, the presentation of gifts to Robin showed the heart of the Woodlawn Catholic community, Procopio added.
“It’s who we are, the family and the community that we are, we know each other well and we care,” she said.
By Procopio’s estimation, Robin crossed close to 200 children daily at her Weeden Street crosswalk, but she made sure to get to know them all and make them feel valuable and significant.
Crossing guard posts are assigned by the Pawtucket Police Department and Procopio said she did not know who would be assigned to the Weeden Street crosswalk for school on Monday morning. She said it is “an important position” and one she hopes the next can fill as well as Robin.
As Robin struggled to hold all of her gifts – a few balloons managed to float away Friday afternoon as they were difficult for one person to contain – she contemplated what it meant to be thanked by the entire school community.
“I guess I was appreciated more than I thought,” she said. “This was a shock.”
Woodlawn Catholic Regional School crossing guard Laurie Robin receives gifts from students on her last day as a crossing guard on Friday.