Arlington County crossing guard named one of best in Virginia

Virginia

Zeleke Taffesse says his smiling students make him feel younger every day.

ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — The Virginia Department of Transportation has named an Arlington County crossing guard one of 2019’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guards. He’s one of only four in the state.

Affectionately called Mister Z by faculty and students, Zeleke Taffesse says his smiling students make him feel younger every day. Taylor Elementary School is one of three schools he’s worked for. The intersection on Military Road down the street from Taylor can get dicey and dangerous, but Taffesse says he loves his job and the students and neighbors love him, too.

“You feel like the same as them,” Taffesse said at a ceremony on Wednesday morning after his shift. “Young boys, young girls… and they wave every day, you know? I love that.”

Mister Z says he’s working with the police department to get more signage in that section of Military Road to make it safer for pedestrians. When he’s not working as a crossing guard, he’s a Japanese and European chef. He also likes flower arranging and origami.

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