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Tuesday marked a big anniversary for 91-year-old Melba Tanksley, who was honored by the city of Danville for 60 years of continuous service as a city employee school crossing guard.
A surprise ceremony was held before her afternoon shift began at her school crossing assignment, which is located at the intersection of Northmont Boulevard and Gloucester Avenue and Westview Drive. The crossing serves G.L.H. Johnson Elementary School.
Police Chief Philip Broadfoot called Tanksley a “shining example of what it means to be a dedicated worker.” “She has served professionally and courteously,” Broadfoot said. “Three generations of Danvillians have safely crossed to school under her watch.”
Danville City Councilman Buddy Rawley (pictured here with Tanksley) also was on hand for the ceremony. Fifty-five years ago, Rawley was one of the students that Tanksley helped into and out of G.L.H. Johnson.
Danville Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Edward Newsome Jr. told Tanksley that “I believe you have the most important job anyone can have in protecting the safety of our children.”
Tanksley thanked those in attendance, saying, “Thank you for the kindness you have shown me. It makes me want to stay for 60 more years.”