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98th Annual Saint Paul School Patrol Parade and Celebration is May 14

Photo of Frost Lake school patrol.

Hundreds of school patrols will celebrate another year of service during the 98th Annual Saint Paul School Patrol Parade on Tuesday, May 14 in downtown Saint Paul.

About 800 patrols, accompanied by eight SPPS Marching Bands, will march from Rice Park to CHS Field starting at 10:30 a.m.

The parade route runs east on 5th Street. Superintendent Joe Gothard and Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell will serve as parade grand marshals. The patrols will take in a St. Paul Saints baseball game starting at 11:30 a.m. Gothard and Axtell will each throw out a ceremonial pitch to kick off the game and festivities.

School patrol members from Frost Lake Elementary will be honored with the 2019 Winterhalter Award. Lieutenant Henry Winterhalter served as school patrol coordinator from 1952-1980. The Frost Lake students will be recognized for their excellence with a pizza party, certificates and a ride on the parade float.

The Winterhalter Award honors schools that demonstrate professionalism, daily excellence in ensuring the safety of students crossing the street, and being positive role models for the school, said Saint Paul Police Officer Shoua Lor.

Tom Burr, SPPS Director of Transportation, commended students from Frost Lake and throughout the district.

“I am very proud of all these young people, who as school patrols show us all what it means to be of service. I can’t thank them enough for helping to keep their fellow students safe,” said Burr. “The families who support this effort deserve our gratitude too. So does Transportation Safety Coordinator Guy Smith and Officer Lor and the Saint Paul Police Department for making sure our patrols are well trained and know exactly how important their jobs are.”

School patrols begin their training at the start of each school year with a presentation from Officer Lor. During each presentation he teaches patrols about pedestrian safety and the three proper positions to hold crossing patrol flags: the attention position, the alert position and the crossing position.

“I stress the importance of wearing the school patrol vest while they are doing their job so they can be seen by drivers, especially in the winter months when it gets darker sooner in the day,” said Lor. “I tell the patrols that part of their job is to pay attention to what is going on around them -- especially the drivers, since more distractions can occur such as talking or texting on the phone.”

At the end of the training, Lor tells the students he will be driving around Saint Paul to make sure they are taking their job as a school patrol seriously -- and that cars are stopping.

The Saint Paul School Police Program was founded in 1920 and is believed to be the oldest school patrol program in the world.

The SPPS Transportation Department is responsible for administering the Saint Paul School Police Program, which is more commonly referred to as the Saint Paul School Patrol. Officer Shoua Lor of the Saint Paul Police Department provides direct supervision.

The following marching bands will also participate in the parade, including those from Farnsworth Aerospace Upper, Linwood Monroe Upper, Central Senior High School, Harding Senior High School, Highland Park Senior High School, Humboldt High School, Johnson Senior High School and Murray Middle School.