Crossing guard makes Sandy Hook a brighter place, one dance at a time

Jul 02, 2014, 06:38 IST | Agencies

Kathy Holick, who dances while directing traffic near Newtown High School, has become a symbol of positivity in Sandy Hook, where 20 kids died in a shootout in 2012

Connecticut: Kathy Holick loves to dance, and if you saw her boogie, you’d be sure to crack a smile. Holick is a crossing guard in the Newtown village of Sandy Hook. But, directing traffic is just one of the ways she is making an impact in her community. Holick — who dances while directing traffic near Newtown High School — has become a symbol of hope and positivity in Sandy Hook.


“She takes her responsibility seriously, but has fun in the process,” longtime Newtown resident John Bergquist said. “Everyone seems to love her and she has put smiles on many faces. If she was directing traffic in any town across the country, she would deserve praise and attention for the unique approach to her job. But, someone who stands out for her kindness is especially meaningful in a community that is still healing from a massive trauma.”

Kathy Holick at work
Kathy Holick at work

In 2012, the country mourned with Sandy Hook after a 20-year-old man went on a shooting rampage in the local elementary school, killing 20 children and 6 adults. “It is just so inspiring to see someone who is a point of light that reminds us to be positive, to treat each other with love and compassion, and that there’s still a lot of good in our community and elsewhere. She gives us hope and leaves us with a smile every day,” Bergquist said of the cheerful crossing guard.

At drop-off and pickup at certain schools, Holick dances and waves in intersections worthy of traffic lights, all while stopping cars for students crossing the street and the convoys of school buses. On social media and in buzz around town, residents admit they take detours during their daily errands just to pass by her. They bring her flowers, coffee and water on warmer days. Students have asked her to sign their yearbooks.

Holick, a 47-year-old grandmother, hasn’t limited her campaign of positivity to the roads. She has even taken to social media to spread cheer, through a public Facebook page she created in April titled, ‘Newtown’s Smiling Traffic Agent,’ a cheery page with photos of cute puppies and kittens and inspirational quotes that’s amassed nearly 900 likes.

Newtown Kindness, a group formed after the Sandy Hook tragedy in memory of Charlotte Bacon, one of the victims of the tragedy, promoted Holick’s Facebook page last month. “She is ALWAYS smiling, often dancing on the job, and bringing kindness to the community! Be sure to smile back...say hello...and give her some Newtown Kindness!”

The post garnered 340 likes and nearly two dozen comments about Holick. As for what keeps that smile on her face and the bounce in her step, Holick said: “I think of my family and friends to start me off. Then, I think of the children who wave to me with such joy, from buses and cars. Then, I throw some music on from my phone that’s in my shirt pocket, and groove to the beat.”

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