- Associated Press - Monday, June 23, 2014

SUMTER, S.C. (AP) - As children across the state finish their school years and begin enjoying their summer freedom, a local crossing guard has her own reason to celebrate.

Terrayne Truett recently completed her 25th year as a crossing guard, 15 of which were spent at Alice Drive Elementary School helping little ones cross busy roads.

“I just picked it up,” Truett said about how she first became a crossing guard. “The Lord must’ve been with me I guess.”

The 65-year-old, who spent her first 10 years as a crossing guard in Georgia, isn’t stopping at 25 years; she plans on returning to her usual post next year.

While many might not know her by name, people around town know her for the unmistakable - and trademark - hat she wears while helping children cross Miller Road every school day. Truett works two shifts a day - one beginning at 7:45 a.m. and the other at 2:20 p.m._- and she said the old-time crossing guard hat was given to her years ago.

Truett is as well-loved by Alice Drive Elementary staff as she is by the children who rely on her daily guidance. Sheree Boozer has been the principal at the school for three years and loves “Miss Terry.”

“She’s very dedicated, very sweet,” she said. “Unless she’s sick, she’s always out there on her post.”

Boozer added further testimony to Truett’s warmhearted nature by complimenting her dedication to the students, saying it isn’t unusual for Truett to stay late to look out for students leaving after normal hours.

Truett and her husband, Raymond, worked together as crossing guards in Decatur, Georgia, and moved to Sumter to be near Truett’s mother and stepfather.

Along with their daughter, Truett’s husband said the couple work as a unit in their decision making and while living their everyday lives.

“If Momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy,” he said.

He expressed his pride in the line of work his wife has chosen to be a part of for so many years.

“It’s something for her to be a part of, just to think she had a part of that … seeing children grow,” he said.

Truett has many memories as a crossing guard. She fondly recalled a woman who approached her and said, “You used to cross me.”

“She’s got children of her own,” Truett said in a moment of reflection. “I guess time goes by.”

___

Information from: The Sumter Item, http://www.theitem.com

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