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Jul 22, 2020

5 min. read

In a year filled with huge challenges, it is more important than ever to recognize and celebrate the good. It’s for this reason that CAA South Central Ontario is thrilled to recognize a grade 8 student from St. Pius X Catholic Elementary School in Brantford as the recipient of our annual Ontario-wide CAA School Safety Patroller of the Year Award.

From 70 nominees emerged this year’s well-deserved winner: 13 year-old Tyra Sayles. The grade 8 student was nominated by program supervisor and grade 8 teacher Richard Melski who was encouraged to nominate the “best of the best”. Tyra was recognized for her commendable work as a CAA School Safety Patroller, while supervising a particularly difficult bus – the bus was recognized to be so difficult, few other students volunteered to patrol it. Tyra not only volunteered, but she also put in extra time. When it was noticed that the other students’ behaviour worsened without Tyra’s presence, she actually volunteered to walk to an earlier stop in the morning and remain longer on the bus in the afternoon. This showed incredible dedication from the young student, as this would have added an extra hour to each volunteer day. An alternate solution was implemented which allowed Tyra to continue focusing on her regular Patroller duties with her trademark huge smile, can-do attitude and calm demeanour.

This true leader doesn’t expect recognition for what she does.

Not one to insist that she always be in the leading role, Tyra performed her duties simply because she loved the job and wanted to do it for the good of the school. She was proactive and continually suggested ways to improve the bus ride, such as proposing alternate seating arrangements and volunteering to increase her presence.

As an active member of the CAA School Safety Patrol®(SSP) program over the past three years, Tyra has mastered juggling her volunteer duties with the rest of her student life. An active athlete, Tyra has participated in school basketball, volleyball and soccer teams. She was on the yearbook committee, master of ceremonies for many big school events, dances competitively, and also managed to get top grades. Tyra’s approach is a pragmatic one, “I do my best to balance everything because I take pride in making the world a better place in the things I do,” she explains modestly.

Her supervisor summarized Tyra’s exceptional contributions to the program, “If I didn't have her, I don't know what I would have done. She made my job so much easier.” For her outstanding SSP efforts, Tyra was recognized during a year-end online celebration hosted by CAASCO, and the award and a cheque for $500 were delivered to her home.

Helping keep school children safe for over 90 years. 

The CAA School Safety Patrol program couldn’t be the success that it is without the participation of its many volunteers. The program is truly a collaborative effort between CAA, the police, school boards, teachers, busing consortia, parents and about 20,000 dedicated student volunteers. More than 800 students participate in the program in Brantford alone. Could your school use a program like this to help keep students safe? Visit: caaschoolsafetypatrol.com to find out more.

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