Nancy Koble, a city crossing guard, works mostly at East River Parkway and Burdick Lane outside of Don Callejon School. For the last eight years, Koble has served community members with her cheerful greetings and attentive guidance as she helps them cross the street. Koble was unaware that several Don Callejon parents nominated her for YMCA Project Cornerstone’s Adult Role Model Award. She received this award at the 2015 Asset Champion Breakfast held at the Santa Clara Convention Center on March 20.
“I really want to thank the parents and children I’ve worked with, and tell them how much I enjoy being their crossing guard,” Koble says. “To be honest, I was surprised a crossing guard would get this award because we’re only with the kids about thirty seconds a day during the morning and afternoon. But this proves to people that you can be an inspiration to kids and families even during a short period of time that you’re with them.”
Ciara Balagot, Melissa Kreisa, and Rachael Lange nominated Koble. On the nomination application, Balagot wrote, “Ms. Nancy has a warm smile, an easy laugh and a bubbly personality… she’s modeled responsible behavior for young people by keeping them safe as they cross the street and, as required by her job, teaching road safety to Don Callejon students, pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.”
Through the years, Koble has maintained friendly relationships with many people she has helped cross the street.
“I used to cross this high school kid four mornings a week,” Koble shares. “One time I asked him what grade he was in. He was a sophomore. I told him he was going to be an adult in a couple of years. He seemed worried about being an adult. So I told him I went through the same thing in college. Two years later, he came by to see me and told me he had an internship, and he was thinking about joining the fire department. It felt good to know I had an effect on this person’s life.”
Born in Sacramento and raised in Torrance, Koble moved to Santa Clara after she got married. She has lived in Santa Clara for 25 years with her husband, Cyril Koble. Before being a crossing guard, Koble wore other job hats, including being a sixth grade teacher, a job trainer, and a DMV employee.
“[Being a crossing guard], I enjoy the families that come by, both the parents and kids,” Koble says. “There’s also the nice weather. It’s gorgeous out there sometimes.”