If ever there was proof that enthusiasm, positive reinforcement and rewards can produce outstanding results, as 2018 CAA School Safety Patrol Supervisor of the Year, Wendy Painting has demonstrated it. Two years ago, this Ontario teacher took on the challenge of growing the CAA School Safety Patrol program at Rickson Ridge Public School in Guelph.
Faced with just five existing student volunteers and a brand-new student body, Wendy adopted a pragmatic approach to increase interest and awareness in what she felt was an important school initiative. She began by positioning the CAA School Safety Patroller volunteer opportunities as being equally important as an athletic or artistic contribution to the school; she attended student council meetings to encourage buy-in and support from parents and student leaders; she spent hours visiting classrooms to recruit students; she ensured that the school had ongoing announcements reminding students about the impact and importance of the program.
Growth and Expansion.
Yet Wendy’s outstanding leadership did not end there. Over 2 years she grew her original five volunteers into a record 20 CAA School Safety Patrollers, she continually worked to ensure the program ran smoothly. She diligently scheduled volunteers, managed any student challenges by being available for support, and advocated for support from the school community when needed. Wendy also recognized the value of rewarding her Patrollers for their hard work by holding regular awards meetings where she gave out kudos, and by participating in all of the incentive programs offered by CAA and the Guelph Police Service. As a result, Rickson Ridge Patrollers were treated to an Avengers movie day event and a Guelph Storm game.
Not only was Wendy Painting able to spread excitement about patrolling for the first time in years, but she has also helped increase awareness and understanding of the importance of the program amongst students and parents. Perhaps most impressive was that for the first time in four years, Rickson Ridge’s student volunteers never missed a day at their posts – regardless of the weather conditions.