SPARKS, NV - Do you have a favorite teacher or principal from years gone by? At one Sparks elementary school, a teacher's assistant and part-time crossing guard hopes to make an impact on students in the classroom and on the street. If you drive by Robert Mitchell in the afternoon, you probably won't forget her either.
Stephanie Taitano is the new teacher's assistant at Robert Mitchell Elementary.
Most of the day she helps kids with their math and science skills that are computer-generated.
But just outside her computer room window, lies her real passion.
“I actually enjoy it. I make it fun by dancing a little bit and the kids like it and I'm starting to get a few parents who like it too,” says Stephanie.
Out on Prater Way, Stephanie comes to life, stop sign in hand; she seems to be listening to a tune only she can hear, ever mindful of the kids she needs to keep safe.
“I dance because I want the traffic to notice there are children wanting to cross the street and I want them to know there's an human being out there,” says Stephanie.
Only two months into the gig, she looks like she's been doing it her whole life.
Stephanie doesn't want to make this permanent; her goal is to be a marriage and family therapist.
But that will take time, and until then she says she wants the students to remember the happy crossing guard, who tried to make their day a little safer.
“Bye Guys!” says Stephanie to the last group of children who have made it across the road and headed home for the day.
Stephanie says she doesn't know if she can “bust a move” as a crossing guard when the snow falls.
She says she may have to get a pair of snow boots with a really good tread.