COLUMBIA, Md. - When she 7 years old, Sheikhana James was the new girl at school. Unfamiliar with her new Howard County neighborhood, she worried about making the walk to school. But a crossing guard at Talbott Springs Elementary School in Columbia made sure James would make it to class safely.
"Every day, she was always there for me," James told the Howard County Police Department. "She was like a guardian angel."
That beloved crossing guard is Dolores Turner, known to the children as "Miss Dolores." The Columbia resident has been a crossing guard in the community for 22 years.
Turner was such an influence that when James recently moved back to Howard County, she decided to become a crossing guard herself.
"She left such an impression on me, I decided to apply," said James.
During the interview process, the crossing guard unit supervisor found out about James' happy memories of the 22-year veteran and arranged to have "Miss Dolores" train the new rookie.
"I never even thought about someone wanting to follow in my footsteps," Turner said. "To know someone kind of watched you like that, it was really gratifying to learn that."
After her training is over, James will be assigned to Hollifield Station Elementary School in Ellicott City.