CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The way most people describe Ms. Bernadette Butler: “One of the best school guards I’ve ever seen on the job.”
Every morning for the past 5 years, 64-year-old Butler, or Ms. Bernadette as she’s known, has been the smiling face, waving at passersby outside Grindstone Elementary.
“They used to say, ‘Who’s that crazy lady waving at everybody?’ But I wave and smile at everybody every morning,” says Ms. Bernadette, of course, with a big smile on her face.
Drivers and passengers in car after car that passed by Friday waved and honked. Occasionally, a window popped down and someone would exclaim, 'We’re going to miss you!"
Friday was Ms. Bernadette’s last day on the job. And because that means she’ll miss Halloween with the kids this year, she dressed in her Mad Hatter costume early.
“On Halloween, I usually dress for the kids. At Christmas, I do something special for them. Today is my last day so I’m going to dress up," says Butler.
Butler is retiring to focus on promoting a book she wrote about raising a son with autism. She’s looking forward to getting the word out about it.
“Fabulous. Best of luck to you,” says a school bus driver as he stops quickly before passing by.
As a crossing guard, Ms. Bernadette has provided safety and security for kids and parents alike, but she’s taught them so much more.
“Ms. Bernadette is the shining moment of my morning. Every day she gives me a smile and a wave and I can’t help but smile back,” says Karen Skutt, an occupational therapist assistant at Grindstone Elementary.
You get the feeling, Ms Bernadette is the kind of lady who crosses your path, and you simply never forget.
“Kindness and love, that’s what we’re supposed to love and be kind to one another and that’s what I wanted to do,” says Ms. Bernadette.