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25 years keeping students safe

Last Thursday was bittersweet for Geraldine Mazur, as it was her last day on a job she enjoyed.

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Mazur retired as a crossing guard at the intersection of Sackett and St. Vincent streets in West Mayfair.

Mazur, who lives on nearby Friendship Street, wasn’t necessarily looking forward to retirement, but she enrolled in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan four years ago. City employees, unless they are elected officials, must retire once they reach four years in DROP. They also have the option of retiring sooner.

In all, Mazur worked 25 years.

“I really loved being a crossing guard,” she said. “It was all good. I met a lot of nice people along the way. Looking back, the years went fast.”

Mazur began her career on March 6, 1996, a day she recalls as a rainy Wednesday, at Battersby Street and Harbison Avenue. The two closest schools there were St. Timothy and Ethan Allen.

Mazur had three more stops — Magee Avenue and Hawthorne Street, Frankford Avenue and Battersby and Princeton Avenue and Hawthorne — before moving to her most recent location in 2007. All of her assignments were in the 15th Police District.

Crossing guards work four-hour shifts, from 7 to 9 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. At one time, the schedule included a lunch shift when more pupils went home for lunch.

For most of her career, Mazur crossed students going to St. Matthew and Mayfair Elementary. Some years ago, they were equipped with hand-held stop signs to go with their vests and hats.

Since so many Chinese families have been moving into the area, Mazur added a Mandarin symbol — the word “ting” — to her sign.

Before her last day, some fellow guards took Mazur out to dinner at the Ashburner Inn and presented her with a gift. ••

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