Ragina C. Ali
Public Relations Manager, MD
O: (410) 616-1900 (ext. 4361152)
C: (443) 465-5020
ODENTON, MD (Friday, June 11, 2021) –– As AAA celebrates the 100th Anniversary of its School Safety Patrol Program, a socially-distanced, surprise presentation was held to recognize Maryland’s first-ever AAA Outstanding School Safety Patrol (SSP) Advisors of the Year. Teachers, Kimberly Fitzmaurice and Brandy Hill, of Anne Arundel County’s Waugh Chapel Elementary School, were recognized earlier today for their efforts in keeping their AAA School Safety Patrol Program operational during the school year, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The honorees, Mrs. Fitzmaurice and Ms. Hill have been co-advisors of the AAA School Safety Patrol Program for over 15 years, collectively and Ms. Hill actually was a patroller herself as an elementary student. The teachers were under the impression that AAA was visiting solely to thank and congratulate the fifth grade safety patrollers, who were also on hand for the celebration. They were shocked to learn, it was they who were being honored. Mrs. Fitzmaurice said, “Thank you so much for honoring us today and for all of the planning and effort that went into making us feel so special today. What an honor and surprise!”
The advisors’ commitment and dedication to the AAA School Safety Patrol Program and the students of Waugh Chapel have been exemplary. This year, their leadership was even more evident, as despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, they were able to successfully maintain the AAA School Safety Patrol Program and make the necessary adjustments to ensure training and protocols to keep everyone safe.
Mrs. Fitzmaurice and Ms. Hill’s principals, Mrs. Lori Austin and Mr. Todd Stanzione are also commendatory of their efforts. “Kim and Brandy are very dependable leaders,” said Assistant Principal, Todd Stanzione. “We are so thrilled that they were able to get the AAA School Safety Patrol Program off the ground this year, even as we are dealing with the challenges of the COVID pandemic, especially since we know the benefits that the program provides to children of all ages.”
Last year, fifth-grader, Maddie Nauroth, also of Waugh Chapel Elementary, was selected as AAA’s School Safety Patroller of the Year. Waugh Chapel is an International Baccalaureate School that shares some of the same values of AAA’s SSP program – specifically exhibiting strong principles, and being helpful to and caring for others.
“Even with the pandemic, Mrs. Fitzmaurice and Ms. Hill, as well as the Waugh Chapel Elementary AAA School Safety Patrollers, adjusted and continued to thrive and demonstrate their dedication to their school and community. We at AAA, are grateful for your service,” Ali said. “AAA thanks Mrs. Fitzmaurice and Ms. Hill for their leadership and commitment to their students and to the AAA Safety Patrol program.”
The AAA School Safety Patrol
Nearly 30,000 patrollers currently participate in the AAA School Safety Patrol program in 688 Maryland elementary schools. It is the largest school-based safety program in the world with more than 679,000 patrollers in 35,000 schools across North America and 30 countries, providing a safer environment for child pedestrians and offering a spectrum of educational opportunities for schoolchildren.
For 100 years, AAA Mid-Atlantic has sponsored and provided major support for the AAA School Safety Patrol by supplying training materials, recognition programs for service, and patrol equipment, including the familiar badge and belt.
AAA School Safety Patrols direct children, not traffic. As school-age leaders in traffic safety, patrol members teach other students about traffic safety on a peer-to-peer basis. They also serve as role models for younger children. Patrols complete training in traffic safety so they can protect students from the hazards of crossing roads and highways on their way to and from school; assist bus drivers in safely transporting students to and from school; teach fellow students about traffic safety; and serve other leadership functions under the direction of school officials.
AAA School Safety Patrol began in 1920 when Charles M. Hayes, then president of the Chicago Motor Club, built the infrastructure and provided the resources so other AAA clubs across the U.S. could protect school-aged children walking to and from school. Hayes had witnessed several children at a school crossing get killed by a speeding car. After the horrific incident, Hayes pledged to help prevent such a tragedy from happening again. Patrollers receive traffic safety training designed to keep children safer on their way to and from school and within school buildings.
Millions of people have served as safety patrol members in the U.S. and in 30 other nations. President of the United States, Joe Biden and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter are among those distinguished individuals who have served as AAA School Safety Patrollers.
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AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to more than 62 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Maryland. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, membership corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can map a route, access a COVID travel restriction map, find local gas prices and electric vehicle charging stations, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information on joining or renewing a Membership, visit www.AAA.com.