Fourth grade student honored for winning essay about school crossing guard

(West Islip, N.Y., Jan. 3, 2019) – The Long Island Ducks visited Paul J. Bellew Elementary School in West Islip on Thursday morning to begin their annual TD Bank “Take a Duck to Class” visits. Fourth grade student Anna Bishop was recognized for being one of four lucky winners across Long Island in the essay contest.

PHOTOS: Facebook Photo Album from the Visit

VIDEO: FiOS1 News Reports from the Event

Anna submitted a well-written essay highlighting Ronnie Semo, a crossing guard at the elementary school, as her “hero in the community.” During a morning assembly on Thursday, attended by Ronnie and dozens of students at the school, Anna read her work aloud to the audience.

“Every day I am a walker [to school], and Ronnie makes sure I am safe when crossing the street,” she stated. “You may not realize but a crossing guard is a dangerous job. So many times, cars go speeding by and don’t stop for the crosswalk. Ronnie is out there when it is hot, cold, rain, or snow and always has a smile and a kind word for me.”

The festivities were also attended by Eric Fishon, TD Bank Vice President of U.S. Field Marketing Strategy, and Zoubeir Qadi, TD Bank West Islip Store Manager. The pair presented Anna with a $50 gift card for being one of the contest winners and spoke about the importance of heroes in the community. Long Island Ducks mascot, QuackerJack, also joined in the fun by greeting students and applauding Anna for a job well done. The Ducks presented Anna with a ticket voucher as well for their Opening Weekend Fireworks game on May 4th so that she and her family can enjoy a night at the ballpark.

The visit continued back in Anna’s fourth grade classroom where all the students in Mrs. Karen Nordland’s class received special gift bags, courtesy of TD Bank. Many of the students got their Ducks and TD Bank goodies signed by QuackerJack and posed for pictures with the lovable mascot.

TD Bank “Take a Duck to Class” contestants were able fill out applications on during the fall and submit an essay of 250 words or less on the theme “Who is a hero in your community and why”. Four lucky winners were selected from an entry pool that included thousands of essays. Each winner receives an hour-long visit to their school from QuackerJack and the Ducks as well as a gift card from TD Bank.

The following are the remaining winners in this year’s TD Bank “Take a Duck to Class” essay contest:

Harman Deep Sing – First Grade – Lee Avenue Elementary School (Hicksville, N.Y.)

Dylan Wagner – Fifth Grade – Forest Avenue Elementary School (West Babylon, N.Y.)

Michael Zeppieri – Fourth Grade – Willow Road Elementary School (Franklin Square, N.Y.)

The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at Bethpage Ballpark. For further information, call (631) 940-DUCK or visit