Wallingford crossing guard sends kids off to summer vacation with a wave

New Haven

It’s the last day of school at Dag Hammarskjold Middle School and the students are signing yearbooks and saying bye to their friends for the summer — including their friend and beloved crossing guard, Jim Snedecker.

“Jim’s just the best human I’ve ever seen,” Hayrunnisa Elevli, a sixth grader who said she always takes a few minutes to talk to Snedecker every day.

If you drive through Wallingford, you’ve probably seen him waving. On Wednesday, he dressed to the nines for the last day of school. 

“Dress well the first day, dress well the last day, you can look like a bum the rest of the year,” said Snedecker with a laugh. 

He has a special bond with the children that goes beyond helping them cross the street.

“He just makes kids that are having a bad day feel good,” said sixth grader Giovanni Argo.

Snedecker’s took up his post at the crosswalk as a way to get out of the house after his wife passed away. “Every morning when I wake up, I got a picture of my wife waving and the first and I look at that first thing in the morning,” he said. 

His secret to connecting with the kids: he says he doesn’t talk to them like kids.

“I’ve had people tell me that I’m more than just a crossing guard but I never feel that I’m more than that. I’m just a friendly person,” Snedecker said. 

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