Safety Patrol student makes the Hall of Fame

Christian Schnacker leads a group of students safely across the street. The Broad View 5th grader was named to the state’s School Safety Patrol Hall of Fame.  - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
Christian Schnacker leads a group of students safely across the street. The Broad View 5th grader was named to the state’s School Safety Patrol Hall of Fame.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

Hall of Fame members typically are famous for swinging a bat or running for touchdowns, but Oak Harbor has one who devotes his time to making it safer for kids to walk to school.

Broad View Elementary fifth-grader Christian Schnacker spends about 20-minutes before and after school two weeks out of every month on Safety Patrol to ensure the safety of his peers as they walk and bike to and from school.

Schnacker first learned of the program last year after he noticed a group of students, one grade his senior, on the two busy street corners every morning and afternoon. The teams of three or four wore bright yellow vests with orange and reflective-tape striping and helped their fellow students safely across the street.

“One of my friends did Safety Patrol last year, and I thought I’d like to do it, too,” he said.

Schnacker applied for a spot on the patrol last September and now sports the bright “School Zone” vest.

His dedication to the program has earned him a place in the AAA School Safety Patrol Hall of Fame, along with 10 other Washington state students selected by AAA judges, the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Broad View Elementary Safety Patrol Supervisor Kris Bishop nominated Schnacker for the Hall of Fame honors for his maturity and dedication to the program.

“He did stand out,” she said of Schnacker, particularly when it came to the peer safety program, adding that she’s seen impressive growth in the fifth-grader throughout the year.

The school celebrated Schnacker’s accomplishment during an assembly, after which a flood of applications came in for next year’s Safety Patrol program, Bishop said.

“He’s inspired other students,” she said.

As part of his nomination essay, Schnacker wrote, “I do Safety Patrol to make sure that our community and my fellow students are protected and safe, to make it a better community. That is the only reason I do what I do. There is a motto that I go by, ‘To do my best to do my duty.’ This goes for everything I stand for in my life.”

Schnacker and nine other students were inducted into the School Safety Patrol Hall of Fame at an on-field awards ceremony before the May 1 Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics game. The awardees then enjoyed the game from a luxury suite. The honor also comes with a $300 grant for new safety patrol equipment for Broad View Elementary, compliments of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

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