Evanston’s City Council Monday night voted to honor crossing guard Dorothy Headd by posting honorary street name signs on the block where she helps guide students to Kingsley Elementary School.

Elizabeth Newton, a Kingsley parent, said Headd is “an everyday hero” who deserves recognition.

Newton says Headd made an effort to learn something about each child, memorized their names and wears a contagious smile that makes every child feel that they belong at Kingsley.

Pastor Michael Nabors of Second Baptist Church, where Headd serves as a deaconess, said she is “elegant, beautiful, refined and a woman of deep faith.”

Evanston Police Officer Tanya Noble said she met Headd at 5th Ward meetings nearly two decades ago where Headd served as hospitality chair with her husband Sam.

“She was already ready to lend a hand. Her kind and caring manner always brought a warm sense of community to any gathering,” Noble said.

Noble said she later worked with Headd on environmental justice issues in the 5th Ward. “She was courageous and always spoke the truth” and worked toward ongoing collaborations between citizens and the city to achieve meaningful change.

After the vote, Headd said she’d sought the crossing guard position at the suggestion of friends after her husband died about six years ago.

“Thank God for this job,” she said. “It came at a time when I was at a very low point.”

“It’s the best thing that could have ever happened,” she added. “The kids were so giving and loving — they just want to be loved, recognized and respected.”

“It’s one of the best jobs I’ve ever had in my life and came at a time when I really, truly needed it.”

Alderman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, who proposed the designation of “Miss Dorothy” Headd Way for the portion of Prairie Avenue between Grant and Colfax streets, said, “A lot of people in the community are really excited about this.”

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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