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Saying Goodbye to a School Day Staple

HONESDALE — The last day of school for students in part of Wayne County marked the end of a crossing guard’s career spent making them smile. The stu...

HONESDALE -- The last day of school for students in part of Wayne County marked the end of a crossing guard's career spent making them smile.
The students and their parents gave plenty of joy back to that retiring crossing guard in Honesdale.

For the past ten years, Ray Highhouse has been starting his workday at this same intersection near the elementary schools in Honesdale.

The maintenance worker for Wayne Highlands School District plays a vital role in getting these kids to class safely. Highhouse directs traffic, cars, buses and the occasional walker.

If you didn't notice  he looks a lot like Popeye this final day of the school year.

"He`s here with a big smile on his face, great way to start the day. all the kids love it, he`s always dressed up in some different outfit, he`s smiling," said parent Matt Meagher.

Highhouse has dressed up in a couple dozen different costumes over the years. This Popeye, complete with a can of spinach, will be his last. The crossing guard is retiring.

And it's pretty obvious that he'll be missed.

"Mr. Highhouse is really funny. And I love seeing him every morning. If me and my mommy are fighting, my mommy loves to see him," said 4th grader Delaney Rowe.

Drivers made a point to stop and wish Highhouse well, even giving him cards and gifts and he couldn't be more thankful.

"I really love doing the traffic direction. It really gets to be the highlight of my day," said Highhouse.

All along, his wife has helped make the costumes and even when it was bad weather, costume or no costume, Highhouse stood there doing what he does best; getting a community on with its day with a smile.

"Last day, mixed feelings about it. time to go, time to enjoy people who made it all come together," he said.