The colorful crossing guard of Phoenix

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A crossing guard in Phoenix has an eye-catching strategy to make sure drivers pay attention in her school zone.

Sandy Van Cleve is a crossing guard for Whispering Wind Academy in the Paradise Valley School District.

She has been on the job for the past 13 years and says she has never missed a day of work.

She monitors the school zone and helps children get across the street safely everyday at around 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Van Cleve always wears colorful outfits and gives a cheerful wave to every car that drives through her territory. She does it to be friendly and get the attention of drivers, hoping they will slow down and watch for students.

"They call me the crazy hat lady, cuz I wear different hats," explains Van Cleve.

This month Van Cleve is wearing green for St. Patrick's Day.

"It makes people slow down, or at least slow down and look to see what I have on. I don't want nobody to get hurt on my watch, nobody."

A widow since 1979, Van Cleve said she needed something to get her out of the house so her friend, a teacher, told her to try being a school crossing guard.

That turned out to be great advice. She says the job gives her a sense of purpose.

"If the good lord is willing to let me go another 13 years, I'm happy."