Crossing guard protects and cheers SSH students

Meghan Helms & Colleen Scullion

Google “2222 Broadway, San Francisco” on Street View and the screen shows a tall man in a black uniform keeping watch over the Flood Mansion. Joseph Leroy Tice stands in front of school almost every weekday of the year, which turns out to be often enough to be photographed by roving cameras.

Tice works as the Broadway Campus’ security and crossing guard year-round, juggling long lines of students and waiting cars during the school year and keeping watch over the three schools during the rest of the year.

“I live a block away from school and Joe greets me every morning by either saying ‘How’s it going?’ or ‘How’re you?’ with a grin across his face,” said sophomore Caitlin Martin, who crosses Webster Street under Tice’s watch. “Nothing makes my day happier than a cheerful grin whether in the rain or the shine.”

Tice is tall and hard to miss in his black shoes, dark pants, collared shirt and a highlighter-yellow jacket holding onto a slim wooden handle in his hand topped with a miniature stop sign with the words “School, STOP, Crossing” and two plastic whistles hang from his neck.

He signals sleepy backpack-carrying uniform-clad students to cross Broadway at Webster with a confident stride and a firm nod from as early as 6:30 a.m.

“Being at Schools of the Sacred Heart brings me back to my days as a child going to school every day,” said Tice, who was born and raised in Daly City and is familiar with the Catholic school environment — graduating from Archbishop Riordan High School in 1994.

Tice works with other staff and administrators to make sure morning and afternoon drop-off and pick-up run as smoothly as possible. On any given morning, Head of Schools Gordon Shirafinsky might stop at Tice’s corner in front of the Grant Building during a break in traffic for updates or patterns Tice has noticed in traffic on Broadway.

“Mornings can be extremely hectic and it always is more helpful when the parents cooperate,” said Tice. “The system we have is productive and works well for all the schools on Broadway.”

Tice, who regards getting the students across the street safely as the best and most important part of his job, is focused on providing safety and is loud and firm regarding the surrounding traffic.

When he is not on duty the crosswalk, Tice is may be found chatting with staff, maintenance workers, parents and students.

“I’ve come to enjoy the community,” said Tice. “There is a lot of camaraderie among the teachers, among the students.”

While some security guards she has met are not as friendly or approachable, Martin says that Tice is exceptional at his job simply because he makes an effort to communicate and connect with the community on and off the job.

“From providing safety for the elementary school kids to greeting the high schoolers as we cross the street, Joe is friendly to the Convent as a whole and helps to bring the lower and upper schools together,” said Martin.