Proctor student named Minnesota safety patroller of year

Eli Ruth, a student at Bay View Elementary, was named the AAA School Safety Patroller of the Year in Minnesota

Eli Ruth wears a neon safety vest and holds a "stop" school patrol flag
Eli Ruth, a Proctor Public Schools fifth grader, was named Minnesota's AAA School Safety Patroller of the Year in the spring of 2022.
Contributed / Erica Amborn
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PROCTOR — A fifth grader was recognized last week as the state’s foremost “safety patroller.”

Eli Ruth, a student at Bay View Elementary in Proctor, was named Minnesota’s AAA School Safety Patroller of the Year. The award is meant to recognize students who exemplify leadership, good citizenship, school involvement and safety skills.

Bay View Elementary student Eli Ruth was named Minnesota's AAA School Safety Patroller of the Year; Erica Amborn is adviser to the school's safety patrol.
Contributed / Erica Amborn

Ruth, 11, was presented with a plaque and a prize at a school assembly June 1. He reportedly knows his route well enough to realize when classmates who live along it are absent or when one forgot their backpack.

A safety patroller is similar to a crossing guard, but patrollers are tasked with directing other students, not traffic, according to Meredith Mitts, a AAA public affairs specialist. Staff at Bay View use both terms, though.

Ruth wrote an essay that described how being a crossing guard helped him become a better leader. He said he learned the meaning of dedication and how to be a leader by being responsible, observant, timely and kind.


AAA’s School Safety Patrol program provides Ruth and other patrollers with fluorescent belts, badges and training.

Gina Kleive was hired at Duluth Public Schools in 2006 and has been the principal at Ordean East since 2009.

Joe Bowen is an award-winning reporter at the Duluth News Tribune. He covers schools and education across the Northland.

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