16 on by OC Schools

Dads in Action!

by Regina Wang, Marketing Coordinator

“Most volunteer work is done by moms,” Cargile said. “It makes people feel comfortable to see dads out there.”

The sun was peeking through the cloudy sky a few minutes before 8 a.m. Sandwiched between two mammoth SUVs, Mike Cargile greeted the pedestrians on the crosswalk and as he kept an eye on incoming traffic.

Every morning Cargile, a father of two, manages the orderly traffic in the drop-off section at Ontario Christian Elementary School. Three other dads also join him in this morning routine: Manny Badiola, Jim Flores, and Rene Rodriguez. In the afternoon, the post is manned by retired longtime firefighter, Steve Bierbaum.

“Most volunteer work is done by moms,” Cargile said. “It makes people feel comfortable to see dads out there.”

It makes these men proud to know they are making a difference in the lives of OC families. Before they volunteered as crossing guards, the front office received one phone call after another complaining about the traffic jam, which was habitually congested and hectic. To top it all off, busses used to come through the front entrance to drop off students, intensifying the pandemonium.

Last summer OC staff implemented new driving guidelines for the front parking lot, reversing the direction of the traffic flow to create a more peaceful order. Parents now only come in through the south entrance and leave from the north exit. This change has significantly unclogged Euclid Avenue and made the parking lot a safer place. Now, as Badiola likes to say, it flows like butter.

The crossing guard’s duty is to make the drop-off section as smooth and safe as possible. They said they try to have fun each morning, holding a stop sign before one direction of traffic and waving the other forward.

Their fellow parents appreciate their efforts by handing them cups of hot coffee. Oftentimes they have people wave at them at Costco.

“Hi, you’re the crossing guard,” they greet these men.

They are thankful for flexible work schedules that allow them to serve the OC families every morning. Cargile is an independent filmmaker, and Badiola is a real estate investor and developer. Flores owns a company selling environmental cleaning supplies, while Rodriguez pilots airplanes for a private firm.

“The thing about crossing guards that most people don’t know about… it’s joy,” Cargile said. The highlights of their morning duty include getting to say “good morning” and “have a good day” to students and parents.

“It brightens our day and theirs,” he said.

OC dads (L to R) Rene Rodriguez, Jim Flores, Manny Badiola, & Mike Cargile... hard at work.

Tips for parents:

1. Put the cell phone down. (Flores said once he was almost hit by a distracted parent driving an SUV.)
2. Pull forward. When parents stop in the middle of the drop-off section, it creates a backlog and makes others veer to the left when students try to cross.
3. Obey the sign. Little do people know that Euclid Avenue is a state highway. When parents make a left out of the north exit, they go against the traffic flow and back up the parking lot. They could also get a ticket from police officers who have been known to hide on the other side of the street.

Dads and Moms, We Need You at OC!

Opportunities to serve:

  • Libraries Crossing guards
  • Room parents
  • Recess and lunch times
  • High school front office
  • Annual Auction and Harvest Festival.
  • Selling snacks during sports games
  • Speaking or controlling music during the elementary and middle school chapel time.
  • …and many more
  • Interested?

Please contact Nicole DeVries at ndevries@ocschools.org or call (909) 983-4644.