LAST DAY TO VOTE! Two Columbia Co. crossing guards nominated for national award

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019
News 12 at 6 a.m.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Two crossing guards in Columbia County are up for a national award as America's Favorite Crossing Guard.

Both Connie Tuli and Nathan Jackson were nominated by their community to win the title--which is given by Safe Kids Worldwide.

Watching Tuli direct traffic is like watching a well-choreographed dance. It's hard to keep her in a camera shot.

"My husband tells me to get out and exercise," Tuli said."'Honey, I do it every morning.'"

She's been mastering this dance every morning for 25 years, most recently at Lakeside High School.

Tuli waves and smiles at every car, and leaves a message with every child that crosses.

"Have a blessed day," she says.

"I always made it a point to smile to them," Tuli said. "Then, after a little while, they are waving to me and smiling at me. I'm like, 'Alright, I did it, good."

The kids notice, and Lakeside High put her in their yearbook.

"I cried," she said as tears filled her eyes. "Because it was special. It wasn't anything big-- but it was special."

Over at Lewiston Elementary, Nathan Jackson is spreading joy in his own way.

"I've always wanted a job where I can help people out," Jackson said.

Even in the cold, the children wave--some even out their car windows.

"Just a simple smile saying, 'Hey, how you doing today?' It will change their day for the better," Jackson said. "You never know what kind of day someone might be having."

For almost three years, Jackson has loved what he does. A nomination as their favorite crossing guard is just a thank you.

"Thank y'all for all the support you're are giving me," Jackson said. "Y'all just make me so proud to come out here everyday."

You can vote on safekids.org until December 12. The top 5 will be named finalists.

The winner will get a pep rally at their school and an award ceremony. They also win new accessories and supplies for their job.