Oysterponds crossing guard retires after 30 years

Most people look forward to the weekend for rest and relaxation. For Oysterponds school crossing guard Kristin Chute, the start of this past weekend was bittersweet.

Melissa Azofeifa footage

“I’m going to miss this position, it’s been a nice way to start my day and a nice way to end my day,” Ms. Chute said Friday, her last day on the job after 30 years working as a crossing guard at Oysterponds Union Free School District.

During the schools 11:30 dismissal, Oysterponds teacher Heather Gable along with school superintendent and principal Justin Cobis walked outside to surprise Ms. Chute.

“Thank you for everything,” Mr. Cobis said as he presented Ms. Chute with an array of balloons, flowers and a card signed by staffers. “You’re always welcome … we have a lot of friends come back here.”

Melissa Azofeifa footage

Ms. Gable started teaching in the district 21 years ago and immediately noticed how much Ms. Chute loved working with children.

“She loves kids,” Ms. Gable said, “and she’s always helping them with whatever they need to do.”

Ms. Chute was hired as a kindergarten assistant in 1993, with the recommendation of the then principal, the following year got a job with the town police department as a crossing guard, “to supplement my income,” she said.  

Ms. Chute later earned a personal training certification and worked in physical therapy for 20 years.

“I stayed with this because I always loved this,” she said.

Mr. Cobis said Ms. Chute is a great example of “a very quiet, unsung hero.

“People always say it’s the custodians and the secretaries and the security guards that really make the place work, before you even get into the building, though, it’s the crossing guards that get everyone there safe,” he said. “It’s going to be very hard, near impossible, to replace someone like that.”

Oysterponds will work with Southold police to find Ms. Chute’s replacement.

“We’re traveling – right now within the country but I’m not putting any limitations on it,” Ms. Chute said of her initial retirement plans with her husband, Robert Chute. “We’re both adventurers so we want to go ride our bikes and kayak and hike and now’s the time to do it while we still can. But I love the kids, I love the community.”