LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) — A Lynchburg City Schools student is being hailed a hero by AAA.
AAA announced Thursday that Tenly Turnbow, a 5th grader at Paul Munro Elementary School was named an Outstanding School Safety Patroller for the 2022-2023 school year.
Tenly was surprised with the award last week by Lynchburg AAA retail associate Makayla Jordan.
On the nomination form, Tenly was praised for her out-of-the-box thinking and leadership skills that helped to streamline dismissal at the school.
SEE ALSO: Customers line up before sunrise as Chick-Fil-A on Timberlake Road opens
Tenly came up with the idea to have patrollers walk students to the busses instead of the class assistants. This allowed assistants to stay in the room and get students ready to go, which in turn shortened dismissal.
Tenly also identified students who had broken arms or legs and assigned patrollers to meet them at their bus or car door to help them carry their backpacks into the school. She also began delivering weekend food backpacks to the busses for some of the smaller children who couldn’t carry them.
In the nomination form, Tenly is referred to as a ray of sunshine.
“She brings energy in the morning and greets the students even on the cold and rainy days” said Emma Mankus, Paul Munro ES School Counselor. “There are students who are so excited every morning to get off the bus and give Tenly a hug. She is always ready to help and goes above and beyond.”
For more than 100 years, the AAA School Safety Patrol has been the world’s largest school-based safety program. Patrollers around the world work to provide school-aged children an extra sense of safety and security during the school day’s busiest times: arrival and dismissal.
SEE ALSO: 7 businesses coming to Downtown Lynchburg as a result of Launch LYH pitch competition
As a peer-to-peer leadership development program, Safety Patrols are trained to recognize safety hazards to create a safer school environment.
“We are so happy to support these programs at schools across Virginia,” says AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Morgan Dean. “We give these young people the training to help make their school safer. We enjoy watching them step up and lead and we’re always so impressed to see how innovative they can be when it comes to implementing changes and improvements at their schools.”
The leadership values and safety awareness have inspired many former patrollers to pursue admirable careers, including Presidents of the United States, astronauts, governors, Members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, Olympic medalists, and authors, like Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney. According to AAA, many patrollers now serve as educators, executives, and community leaders.