by Lisa Tome
Vickie Daluge takes her responsibilities as crossing guard at North East Elementary seriously.
So does her husband, Randy.
The pair, married for almost 11 years, spend almost 90 minutes per day assuring safe crossings for students from the school.
Daluge, 64, was hired by the Town of North East August 29, 2016. She works school days from 8:15 to 9 a.m. and 3:30-4 p.m.
The job came by accident.
She was recruited for the job by Susan, the staffer who managed Victoria Park Apartments last fall. "It was the day before school started. I wasn't interested in working," Vickie said. She is retired from Walmart.
She's since changed her mind. "It's become such a part of my life. I love these kids and we constantly talk about them," said Vickie.
"I have a little boy (that I assist) I call him Mister Meander," he said.
Randy, 62, is a retired truck driver. He began subbing as a crossing guard in January after the former crossing guard fell ill. "I said, I'll help," said Randy. In April, he was also hired. He works the same hours.
"We met on April Fool's Day (years ago)," laughed Randy. And now they work a block apart.
She works at Main Street and Thomas Avenue. He works at Thomas and Mauldin Avenues.
Both are permanent, part time employees paid by the Town of North East and trained by Police Chief Darrell Hamilton. They each earn $12 per hour.
Since being hired, they have missed just one day of work. That occurred recently after their apartment flooded and it couldn't be avoided.
"We're crazy about these little kids," said Vickie. "They are so sweet. The little girls will pick a flower and give it to me." Randy recently gave his umbrella to children who were walking without one on a rainy day.
"I worry about kids anymore. I've had people run my stop sign. The kids are really good. They stop, they wait, and they listen," he said.