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The student news site of Centennial High School - Frisco, Texas

Cen10 News

The student news site of Centennial High School - Frisco, Texas

Cen10 News

Centennial High School’s Beloved Crossing Guard, Irene Mattison

Lillian Treat
Irene Mattison at her morning crosswalk duty on February 22nd, 2024.

Amid the chaos of schoolwork and extracurricular activities, Irene Mattison acts as a beacon of happiness to Centennial High School students. Located at a crosswalk down the street from Centennial High School on Rolater, Mattison treats her job as a crossing guard as a duty, as well as an opportunity to brighten people’s days, despite the hustle and bustle that awaits them when they walk through the doors of Centennial. 


She explained how she began her iconic crosswalk dancing, “I started to dance, and I would actually do my workout moves because I figured I might as well get my steps in!”


Mattison’s actions on one crosswalk in Frisco have large-scale impacts on more than just the people who interact with her. A study conducted by Harvard graduate and researcher, Shawn Achor, proved that happiness can indeed create a ripple effect. One person’s happiness has a non-negotiable impact on those they interact with, who then continue the cycle of joy. 


Senior, Alexis Kampschneider, said “I love her so much! Any time I’m on my way to school in the morning and feeling a little tired, she gives me a boost of energy to get through the day.”


Mattison’s dedication to infusing joy into the lives of passersby has touched the hearts of many, showing how these brief moments of positivity can create a ripple effect. However, her liveliness has not only brightened up the crosswalk but also made it safer.


In the past year, there have been several unfortunate instances where students in the community have been seriously injured or even killed on their commute to school. 


Mattison hopes to deter speeding at the crosswalk, sharing “There are a lot of speeders in the school zones, and I realized that when I got up off my feet and danced and had fun, they would actually slow down.”


The impact of what Mattison does at the crosswalk is clear, and there is no shortage of rewarding encounters between Mattison and members of the community. 


She shared, “Parents started to re-route their way home just so their kids could say hello. That is the most mind-blowing thing ever, I never thought I would be able to have that much of an impact on kids. It’s the most heartwarming and fulfilling thing I do”


Her efforts have not gone unnoticed, with WFAA, a media outlet averaging nearly 4 million monthly viewers, highlighting her back in 2019 while she was working for Lawler Middle School. Reporter Hannah Davis described, “Mattison is a sight to behold as she helps get kids to and from school. She sings, jokes, dances and hops until every child has crossed the street safely. The district employee is so expressive, drivers will pull over to get a selfie or ask about her story.” (WFAA)


Mattison’s proactive approach is admirable, and her dedication to her job sends an uplifting message to parents and students alike. In her own words, “It’s okay to be a crossing guard, it’s a great job and I love the kids. And it’s important that we get our kids safely to school, and I’m happy to be able to play a part in that.”

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About the Contributor
Lillian Treat
Lillian Treat, Reporter
Hi everybody! My name is Lilly and I am a junior at Centennial High School. I am vice president of Titan Theatre and love to be involved in various theatre productions at our school. I am so excited to be a part of the Titan Times and I'm looking forward to a great year!