For 30 years, Port Washington resident Diane Jung has spent mornings and afternoons on same street corner in the city making sure traffic and pedestrians get along doing what she calls a "rewarding" job as a crossing guard.
"I really enjoy the children ... you just never know what's going to come out of their mouths," Jung said. "And they always have smiles on their faces — and it's a nice way to start the day."
Jung was recognized this week for her years of service to the community as part of the Wisconsin Adult School Crossing Guard Recognition Week, which is sponsored by the Wisconsin Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association.
Jung said 30 years of service on the same street — the corner of North Wisconsin Street and Buetel Road — have allowed her to notice many changes, but noted that most of them were in people's behavior: more kids are being driven to school by their parents than had been in the past — and fewer people exhibit courteous behavior.
"The public's always been good. Yeah — you've got a few people that like to be in a hurry all the time," she said, adding that about 80 percent of the public offer smiles while probably 20 percent are a bit on the grumpy side.
Jung also said high traffic on Wisconsin Street, combined with the later school release times and work rush hour — and sometimes bad weather — can make it a dangerous place to be a crossing guard.
"I've had a few close calls in the years that I’ve been up there, and just knock on wood I haven't been hit yet," she said, recalling
Jung is also the head crossing guard, meaning she manages the hiring and schedules of guards in the city. Though most crossing guard spots are currently covered, she said people interested could still apply to be added to the sub list; interested applicants should visit the Port Washington Police Department to learn more.