Parents at Mulrennan Middle School in Valrico held a dodgeball tournament last month to fund three crossing guards to assist students get to the school safely.

After raising over $13,000 for private crossing guards at Mulrennan Middle School last year, Commissioner White added ‘finding funding’ on the agenda in February 2019. The vote, which took place in April, was unanimous; 7-0 in favor of funding crossing guards for middle schools.

PTA President Danielle Waymire said, “After advocating for so long for crossing guards, it was a great moment to be present for the vote. We felt that our county commissioners and Sheriff Chronister took our children’s safety seriously.”

The implementation of crossing guards was to be over a three-year period of time and more than 100 crossing guards were needed. Sheriff Chronister started immediately hiring and training guards so that on the first day of school in August, county middle schools had crossing guards for the first time.

Original Story printed February 2019.

A group of parents at Mulrennan Middle School took their children’s safety into their own hands last month. Frustrated by the conditions for students who walk to the Valrico middle school, the parents raised $13,000 through a dodgeball tournament to fund three private crossing guards.

Valrico resident and mother of three Mulrennan students Danielle Waymire spearheaded the fundraiser when one of her children was almost hit by a car while walking to school.

“It got to the point where enough was enough,” said Waymire, who walks her children to school every day. “I couldn’t just watch cars regularly not yielding and children almost getting hit without doing something.”

Once funded, it took less than two weeks for the crossing guards to take their places twice a day directing students and traffic.

“They have already made a huge difference,” said Mulrennan parent and Valrico resident Bridget Wilson.

“We are so proud of our school and the fact that we were able to make this happen,” said Wilson. “But we are even happier that local politicians have noticed. We are hoping that by the next school year we won’t have to do this anymore.”

Mulrennan Middle School is located at 4215 Durant Rd. in Valrico and can be reached at 651-2100.

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Kate Quesada
Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.