A woman in Jackson is vying to become America's Favorite Crossing Guard.
Brooke Sammons is a crossing guard at Jackson Elementary School. Twice a day, she dons her reflective vest and grabs her stop sign to help kids get to and from school safely.
"If anyone gets hit, it's going to be me first," Sammons said. "That's how I position myself. That's what I'd do for my own kids and these are my kids. I didn't give birth to them but they're all my children. I love these kids."
And they love her too. As each kid crossed the very busy Highway 60, they gave high five's, hugs and chatted with Sammons as she held her octagonal sign. She says, as much as keeping them safe is her goal, it brings her great happiness too.
"I get cute cards throughout the years, like thanks for making my day," Sammons said. "I don't think they understand how much they make my day."
Sammons took the job about four years ago but it's something that's in her blood. Her mother was actually the crossing guard at the same spot when she was younger. As a second generation crosser, she enjoys the time she has with the kids.
As do they:
"She gives me high five's a lot." "She's nice, considerate and always remembers my name." "Kind words, I could go on forever." "She's always saying hi to people going by and saying have a good day." "She's the best crossing guard in Wisconsin and maybe the world."
The kids smile ear to ear when crossing the street. Sure, they're excited to leave school for the day but they know they get to see their favorite crossing guard. Some of the older folks feel the same way too.
"She's awesome," Carolyn Casey, a local grandmother said. "She knows all the kids' names. On birthdays she gives cupcakes. When they're down and out she cheers them up."
Sammons says she will be a sounding board for the children too. If they're having a bad day, she'll be there for them as another trusting adult figure in their lives.
And if the parents are running late or can't get to the school on time, Sammons will let them hang out with her until they're ready. It's something they all take notice and often give her small gifts.
"This family gave me [a stuffed monkey toy], hand warmers and foot warmers for my birthday this year," Sammons said. "I keep it with me to let them know I appreciate it and what they did."
If she wins the Safe Kids Worldwide contest for America's Favorite Crossing Guard, she'll win some "cool prizes" but what she's more excited about is the possibility of the school getting a $500 grant.
"It's for the kids," Sammons said. "They can get more books or supplies or have a pizza party maybe. It would be awesome to be able to help support this school."
Voting continues until Jan. 31 and you can vote once per day on the Safe Kids Worldwide website.