A Brief History of School Safety Patrol

Cathedral School, 328 West Kellogg Boulevard. Photo courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society.

Cathedral School, 328 West Kellogg Boulevard. Photo courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society.

PVN recently worked with the Cushman Wakefield Northmarq Advisory Services Group to research the history of three of the Archdiocese buildings in St. Paul. PVN works with real estate brokers to understand and leverage the heritage value of historic sites. One of the buildings, the Hayden Center, at 328 West Kellogg Boulevard, generated a unique story from its early history as the Cathedral School. 

The St. Paul Archdiocese Cathedral School, located at 328 West Kellogg Boulevard, was built in 1914 by the Paul Steenberg Construction Company. The stately brick building operated as a K-12 school until 1975.

Photo courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society.

Photo courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society.

In 1921, Sister Carmela Hanggi, the principal at the Cathedral School, played a key role in the development of school safety patrol. The first monitored crossing took place in front of the school on February 21, 1921. She worked with St. Paul police to train students to act as crossing guards. This experiment proved to be a success. Within a year, similar programs were adopted citywide, with 750 students enrolled in training. Some material available online suggests that this safety patrol was the first of its kind in the nation. 

Since the beginning of the safety patrol at the Cathedral School, similar programs proliferated coast to coast, even reaching Smallwood Elementary School in Amherst, New York. There, PVN's Greg Donofrio joined the rank of red ribbon-bearing crossing guards (first row, second from right). 

PVN Staff