South Mississippi Strong: Biloxi crossing guard does more than just direct traffic

South Mississippi Strong: Marcy Todd

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - She teaches, she works as a traffic crossing guard, she helps with science fair projects. In fact, there are very few jobs at Our Lady of Fatima Elementary School in Biloxi that Marcy Todd does NOT do.

Twice a day, rain or shine, the 77-year-old retiree can be seen at her familiar spot on Jim Money Road, making sure children safely cross the road.

But she does so much more than just direct traffic.

“I do daycare in the morning. I do traffic duty. I substitute teach. I take care of the bingo workers. I was a choir director. I do all kinds of jobs,” Todd said. “I filled in at the office the other day."

When her crossing guard duties are done each morning, Marcy Todd puts on another hat, often helping teach and do other various jobs around the school, like helping students raise the flag each day.
When her crossing guard duties are done each morning, Marcy Todd puts on another hat, often helping teach and do other various jobs around the school, like helping students raise the flag each day. (Source: WLOX)

Todd’s service to the school and community began back in 1975, when word got around that the former nun for two years had a particular set of skills that’s right in line with what Fatima needed.

“My children were going to school here and one day, I came out of church and the nun said, ‘I need a third grade teacher. Would you sign the contract?’" recalled Todd. “So on the back of a car, I signed the contract and started teaching and my son was in the first class.”

“I walked in that morning, scared the heck out of him,” she laughed. "He said ‘Mom, what are you doing here?’ I said, I’m your new teacher.”

And she’s literally been nonstop ever since.

"They needed a crossing guard and I had retired, and I decided, hey, I can do that, that’s easy,’ Todd added.

And while she says it's not so easy sometimes, her secret to keeping order out on the pavement is simple.

"I have all my friends, a lot of them, when they go by, they wave. I think the thing is, smile at them. Tell them it’s a great day. Now some won’t smile but others do. I have them trained. It’s the safety of the parents and the children coming off, and it’s the safety of the people on Jim Money Road. I enjoy it because of the children. That’s why I still do it, is because of the kids.”

As for Marcy’s three children, they aren’t slackers either. One’s a college professor, one is a teacher, and another is a pilot in the Air Force.

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