Bill Luplow was honored Sprigfield's Friend of Education for all of the work he's done helping students and staff get safely to school.
Anyone driving by Springfield High School in the early morning or mid afternoon has probably seen the man in the light blue shirt standing in the middle of Sanitarium Road.
Yes, Bill Luplow is there five days a week, directing traffic for the high school. A Lakemore resident and Volunteer Auxiliary Springfield Police (VASP) member, Luplow volunteers to do the simply because he wants to give back. Mornings and afternoons since construction began on the new school two years ago, Luplow has been there to help.
For his unselfishness, Luplow was presented Sept. 3 with the Friend of Education Award from Springfield Local Association of Classroom Teachers (SLACT) meeting.
Luplow’s day is an early one. He is on the road by 6:30 a.m. bringing busses, parents, teachers and students into the school parking lot.
"He arrives at least an hour before the end of the day to organize the cars that arrive early to wait for dismissal time and, within minutes, directs outgoing traffic," said principal Cynthia Frola.
Teacher Matt Graves reminded those in attendance that back in 2011 the Canton Road entrance was to be closed. Graves envisioned a disaster of delays and traffic jams, but he was wrong. In particular, one person was there volunteering his time every morning and afternoon to direct the traffic.
"He put up with rain, snow and sleet, risking his life,” Graves said with a laugh recounting angry teachers as well as frustrated bus drivers, parents and students trying to get into the parking lot all at the same time. "It ran very smoothly. He kept us safe and on time.”
After Graves presented the Friend of Education plaque, Luplow thanked the group for the honor.
"This is very overwhelming,” Luplow said. “I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve, make things happen and move ahead. The last couple of years have actually gone pretty fast. It is amazing how well things went together."
Superintendent William Stauffer said there is not a more deserving recipient than Luplow
"He is the most dedicated volunteer that I have ever met,” Stauffer said. “He is loyal, dependable and has a tremendous work ethic. He is a difference maker and I would like to thank him for all he does for the students of the Springfield Local Schools."
Business Manager Dan Laskos said Luplow is a hard worker and when the school system was looking for a part-time employee to mow lawns for the schools, Luplow's name was the first to come up.
"I can't recall a day of work that he has missed,” Laskos said. “It is great that he knows the district, staff and students. He is a perfect fit.”
Luplow, 1962 Springfield graduate (1962), has been married to his wife Marian for “31 great years.” The couple has four children, 13 grandchildren and one great grandson. In his spare time, Luplow enjoys fishing, cooking, gardening and wine making.
Page 2 of 2 - Traffic at Springfield High School is still one way in and one way out. As a result, Luplow will be there helping to direct the vehicles coming and going.
"As long as God gives me strength,” Luplow said. “I will be there.”