Gary Roybal: Kids can teach you a lot if you stop and listen

December 21, 2012 • Local News

Gary Roybal on the job at Del Norte Elementary. Ilissa Gilmore Photo

The mornings are getting colder, but outside Del Norte Elementary, crossing guard Gary Roybal radiates warmth as he greets students and their parents.

For more than 12 years, Roybal has been stopping traffic to allow children to get to school safely. During that time, he’s become a prominent figure at the school, as well as in the lives of students and their families.

On the last day of school before Christmas break, children handed him gifts as they crossed and a parent hugged him, wishing him a Merry Christmas.

When he’s not stopping cars, he’s waving at them to say hello to the people inside. “You’ll be surprised how many people in the community you get to see come through here,” he said.

Some of the drivers are former students who stop to invite Roybal to their sports games and catch up with him. Kindergarten teacher Leesa Bates said former students come back often and thank him for his kindness.

“He loves kids and the kids adore him,” she said.

Bates said Roybal does his job without fail, despite rain or snow, maintaining a joyful Login to read more

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