TULSA - AAA Oklahoma recognized Carl Strauhs in 2011 for being the top crossing guard in the state. He has patrolled Tulsa's Salk Elementary every morning and every afternoon for the past five years.
"Yep, I'm just like the postman," laughed Strauhs. "I love it, I love the kids."
In fact, Carl has only missed one day.
"I had some parents say 'we missed you' or 'thank you for being here,'" he said.
The crossing guard lends a hand, and occasionally an ear as well.
"I encourage them every day. If they had a bad day, we'll talk about it," he said.
One of the teachers at Salk nominated Carl after Tulsa Public Schools' crossing guards faced a pay cut. Carl came into the school one day and told the teachers, if that happened, he would work for free.
"You need [guards]," said Strauhs. "You have to think of the safety above the kids before anything else.
AAA Spokesperson Danial Karnes says the safety awards started when districts across the country were cutting guards.
"These guys save lives every day," said Karnes. "They're helping kids cross the street and keeping that traffic safety message."
AAA Oklahoma is looking for nominees with dedication, friendliness, professionalism and safety in mind. Nominations are due by April 19, 2013.
"They get paid very little and get very little recognition for the job they do and we thought it was time they got some recognition," said Karnes.