Getting children safely across Vaughn Avenue was her job. But once on their way, crossing guard Marge Reynolds kept an eye on those kids for as far as she could to ensure they made it home safe.
"Maybe that's something you didn't realize. She was still watching you," special education teacher Maggie Tice said of East Dover Elementary School's longtime crossing guard as she prepared to say goodbye and enter retirement on Thursday.
Reynolds has been a crossing guard for 28 years and came to the school in 2002. There, she controlled traffic and helped students cross Vaughn as they walked to and from school.
"It's a tough spot," said Principal Linda Downing.
To celebrate her career, students and staff packed the school's gymnasium for a morning assembly. They shared memories, gave thanks and said goodbye.
"You're all my little angels," Reynolds told the students. "And I'm really going to miss you."
Downing recognized Reynolds — "our guardian angel" — for her commitment to the school. Each student made a card to express their gratitude.
"We know as a school how dedicated you were to us, to our students, and we have a few words and a few cards to show our appreciation," Downing said.
Students from each grade presented Reynolds with gifts and recalled their encounters. Their crossing guard liked to tell jokes and give them cookies and lollipops, the children said. In return, Reynolds was able to become a part of their lives.
"They'd tell me little secrets, how they did in school," Reynolds said. "I just enjoy the kids."
Officer Tom Leach said that he was "honored" to have worked with Reynolds for over a decade.
"She's been all over town, and she said she loves this spot the most and she's going to miss this spot the most," Leach said.
Leach said that Reynolds "has a way with words."
"She would say, 'maybe we should try this or that.' And she was always right, because experience was on her side," he said. "She was a pleasure to work with. She's going to be greatly missed and I hope she has a lot of fun doing whatever she'll be doing."
Staff presented Reynolds with a bouquet of flowers and a Pandora bracelet — "It's to show how much we love you," Downing said.
Before leaving her post, Reynolds trained her replacement, who was already on the job Thursday. Retirement wasn't always in her plans, but now that it's here, Reynolds said that she's "looking forward" to doing volunteer work.
"I don't even know where to begin," she said. "I always thought I'd be here with a cane."