“Thank You, Mr. Bill!” Beloved Neighborhood Crossing Guide Retires

One-at-a-time and in small groups, students from Clarksville Middle School and Pointers Run Elementary School enter the crosswalk at Great Star Drive and Eastern and Western Star Run. Some ride bikes. Others are accompanied by family members. As they carry their backpacks across the white-striped crossing lane, they all greet Mr. Bill, who stops traffic in the middle of the road. “Thank you, Mr. Bill!” they say, some shouting, others whispering. For 180 mornings and afternoons, this familiar and comfortable routine ensures the safety of the students.

After 19 years as a cherished crossing guard, Mr. Bill Hall stopped traffic for the last time on Friday, June 14, 2024, the final day of the Howard County Public School System school year.

“I loved all of it,” said Mr. Bill. “The best was watching the kids grow inches by inches.”

Plans to celebrate his retirement began circulating on social media during the last week of school. Parents
wanted to recognize his contributions to the community. Their work paid off. On the last day of classes, a sign and balloon decorated one of the corners of the intersection. Cars slowed and passengers waved. Buses honked as they passed Mr. Bill’s crosswalk. One of his great-granddaughters even stopped by to wish him well.

“Everybody is so nice,” said Mr. Bill.

Cards, gift bags, bottles of water, and even a potato were gifted to him on his last day. One resident came out to thank Mr. Bill for being there for the community and for the children.

Although his students were bus riders, Stephen Chan was comforted knowing that Mr. Bill was looking out for the neighborhood.

“There’s so much good will in that man,” said Chan. “His years of service and dedication to the community
says it all.”

Another resident, Yeon Yi hugged Mr. Bill after her two sons, students at Pointers Run, crossed the street with his help for the last time. “My kids walk to school because I trust him,” said Yi.

“If I can help, that’s what I do,” said Mr. Bill.

Bill Hall has lived in the Owen Brown village with his wife Edna for 43 years. Mrs. Hall was the first member of the family to serve as a crossing guard. Mr. Bill followed in her footsteps after he retired from a 45-year career as a tractor trailer driver. When asked about his future plans, he replied that there will be no time to rest.

“My wife will keep me plenty busy,” said Mr. Bill with a hearty laugh.