Thursday, January 17, 2013

Woodview Elementary crossing guard has history on her side

Marie Klotz has been guiding students across Bunker Hill at Cedardale near Woodview Elementary School since Ronald Reagan’s first term as president.

She has been a school crossing guard for 29 years at this location. Marie somehow knew in her heart that this increasingly busy street would be her twice-a-day job when she passed by the school way back in 1984.

Marie lives with her husband on the Spring Branch east side, near Housman Elementary. She applied for her part-time position here when her daughter, Johanna, started classes at the University of Houston. SBISD Human Resources told her that job applicants couldn’t pick their own job locations. Marie bided her time.

 “I said my prayers, and then I kept calling them. They called me back one day, and said, ‘The crossing guard at Woodview has quit. You can have the job if you still want it.’”

Three decades later, Marie is at her corner post early morning and mid-afternoon. Rain and shine. Cold. Heat. Humidity.Wind. She does it for all the small faces and the joy it gives her. “God gave me this job. I love it. I treat every child as I do my very own grandchild,” she says. Marie is the type who played toy soldiers and war games with her grandson.

Today, he is at West Point Military Academy. “I want all these children to have a future. Instead of sales, I want to see them start and own their own businesses,” she says, beaming brightly. She is not lonely. Many of the drivers know her. They wave. Neighborhood walkers stop to chat. Toddlers are impressed by her crossing guard stop sign or other job gear.

“I have to stay busy; I have a lot of energy for an old lady,” quips Marie, who is 66. She’ll need that energy to deal with morning and afternoon drivers on Bunker Hill who refuse to follow traffic rules at her school crossing.

She blows her whistle loudly if approaching drivers fail to stop promptly. Her complaints? Drivers who do not heed the 20 mph school zone speed limit and those who think that her handheld stop sign really means roll forward slowly. “Slow down. Stop!” she exclaims.

“Marie Klotz is genuinely committed to the safety of our children, and she is tireless in her efforts to protect and to serve,” says Woodview Elementary Principal Neda Scanlan.

“She is an extremely hard worker who cares about her job, and she is out there come rain or shine. She makes sure that everyone is greeted with a smile as they come to our school. She is truly an exceptional crossing guard. She’s an excellent ambassador for her school and for SBISD,” the principal adds.

 Times have changed for crossing guards. In 1984, dozens of schoolchildren walked to and from school. Bunker Hill was still a two-lane street that did not connect directly to the Katy freeway. The school operated several student patrols.

Today, Marie is lucky to greet a dozen parents and children in the morning. Many parents drive students to school and pick them up. Times just may change again, though. 

Deneen Stanfield, a school administrative assistant, recalled how Marie helped Deneen’s children cross Bunker Hill each day. The neighborhood had few young walkers for many years, but new younger families are moving in.

“They are tearing down homes and they are replacing the old with new. And we are seeing new children again at Woodview,” she says. “Marie loves children.”

Marie thinks that her many years as a Woodview crossing guard has helped her stay active and young at heart. “I feel that older people need to give back to young people. Be a school crossing guard. Read to children in a school. This is the computer generation, but they also need to have face-to-face contact with other people and have other people support them.”

To learn more about opportunities in SBISD to volunteer or mentor, please call Community Relations at 713-251-2286.


  1. She a great person. She love the children's. I see her everyday with a happy face. We love her. She is the best crossing guard.

  2. Marie is the best crossing guard ever! The Woodview neighborhood has always been extremely fortunate to have her. Not only does she help kids and families achieve safe crossing, she has also always been an advocate for their general well-being. I've known her to keep a stash of coats in her trunk for children who come to school on cold days without proper attire. She has also been a shoulder to lean on and a smiling, caring face for a child who has had a rough day. Marie is one in a million!


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