Off The Beaten Path: Miss Virginia

Off The Beaten Path: Miss Virginia
Published: May. 5, 2023 at 3:08 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - On weekday mornings and afternoons, school crossing guard Virginia Mayes directs traffic and helps children at four Lexington schools.

Miss Virginia, as she’s known to families along Clays Mill Road, focuses on keeping children safe. During 31 years as a crosswalk safety guard, Miss Virginia says she’s had plenty of close calls.

“Oh honey, they almost hit us and everything else. Run our stop signs. We go thru a lot of stuff,” said Mayes. “But, you know, I don’t let it bother me. I just keep on crossing my kids.”

Rachel Sullivan credits Miss Virginia for saving her 6-year-old’s life last December when a car roared through a crosswalk at Clays Mill Elementary.

“She’s a hero,” said Sullivan. “My daughter wouldn’t be here if Miss Virginia hadn’t pulled her out of the street.”

The principal of Clays Mill Elementary School, Grant Davis, remembers the first time he saw Miss Virginia.

“The traffic was coming. It was dark and Miss Virginia, she just had absolute command of the road. You just knew not to mess with Miss Virginia because she did everything she could to make sure the kids were safe,” said Davis.

Mother Elysa Neely calls Miss Virginia an additional parent.

“She says, ‘Come on babies,’ and they love her. They give her hugs, and she deeply cares about them and their safety,” said Neely.

Miss Virginia has no plans of retiring.

“Oh, I’ve been blessed. Honey, I could not ask for no better people in the world. Honey, Christmas time I get so many gift cards and so many gifts and stuff. And I just love ‘em,” said Mayes.

Miss Virginia also makes Fridays special for the children. She hands out candy to each one.