August 12, 2018
School & Youth
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Safety Is No Accident To Alayna McCarthy

Kerrigan Stern
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June 12, 2018

Jacobsville Student Named AAA Outstanding Safety Patroller Of The Year

Fifth-grader Alayna McCarthy will have more to savor than just the accomplishment of graduating elementary school this year. She now also has the prestige of being one of two Anne Arundel County students awarded AAA Outstanding Safety Patroller of the Year by the AAA Mid-Atlantic Foundation.

While most of the kids at her school simply have the responsibility of being an exemplary student, Alayna has taken on several additional commitments as the captain of Jacobsville Elementary’s safety patrol.

“Her responsibilities include keeping track of patroller attendance, rotating patroller’s posts and duties, helping me to schedule check-in meetings, and helping me to run the safety patrol meetings and pass out flyers and notes from me,” said Donna Kennedy, Jacobsville Elementary’s school counselor and safety patrol sponsor who nominated Alayna. “She also reports to me any problems or difficulties in the hallway or with the patrollers. Alayna helps check in with fellow mentors and reminds them to meet with the younger students they are mentoring.”

Although the safety patrol may be an unfamiliar extracurricular activity to some students, Alayna’s interest was sparked by an exemplar close to home.

“I got involved with the safety patrol when my sister became a safety patroller, and I looked up to her,” Alayna said. “Then two years later, I got the opportunity to become a safety patroller. … [After] I applied, [I] became not only a safety [patroller] but captain of hallway safeties.”

Alayna’s ability to receive such a high position was undoubtedly due to the remarkable traits she exhibits each day in school.

“Alayna is a natural leader and excellent role model to her fellow patrollers and students. She is the first to volunteer when a job needs to be completed, even the most challenging tasks,” Kennedy said. “Alayna is a mentor to a second-grade girl with some challenges with behavior and social skills. Alayna checks in with her mentee every morning and afternoon, without exception. She sets individual goals with her mentee and rewards her when she succeeds.”

These traits not only enhance Alayna’s stature at school, but they also separate her from her classmates.

“The two biggest traits that set Alayna apart from her peers are responsibility and empathy,” Kennedy said. “I give Alayna a job to do, such as her job as captain of the patrol, and I can be confident that she will take care of her duties beyond my expectations.”

Kennedy nominated Alayna for Patroller of the Year, but other teachers also speak highly of the fifth-grader.

“I had Alayna in second grade and in dance. She is an extremely driven and motivated young lady who I know will do great things in life. She is a born leader,” said second-grade teacher Morgan Reem.

“Alayna always strives to be a positive role model to her peers,” said fourth-grade teacher Allison Fay. “She willingly takes on leadership responsibilities and shows initiative when trying to support others. Alayna commits herself to successfully accomplishing anything she sets her mind on, no matter which obstacles arise.”

While being a safety patroller certainly helps Alayna enhance her noteworthy leadership skills, her enjoyment is the best part of the experience.

“I enjoy being a safety patroller because it keeps others safe and it lets me help others like I want to do,” said Alayna. “Being a safety patroller means a lot to me and I could not ask to be any more than a safety patroller.”

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