CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - One of the best crossing guards in the commonwealth is working hard to keep students at Clark Elementary School safe.

If you've been by the school in Charlottesville’s Belmont neighborhood in the morning or afternoon, chances are you've seen her.

It’s hard not to notice Ruth Hill, who’s always hard at work keeping students safe as they cross the street to and from school. And she’s popular with the students, as well as parents and teachers.

"She’s the first face for many of them that says, ‘welcome to Clark,’" Juanita Eddy, Clark’s assistant principal, said.

Hill has been the crossing guard at Clark Elementary for nearly a decade.

"She interacts with everyone in a very personal way, staff and students, we've had great conversations just as we're watching traffic go by,” Eddy said.

"She’s sweet, kind, respectful,” Luke Morrison, a third grader at Clark, said.

Luke says Ms. Ruth isn't afraid to tell people to slow down.

"She literally has to yell '15' when people are driving too fast,” Luke said.

Hill's son went to Clark Elementary, so she protects each student as if he or she was her own.

"I try my hardest to keep them safe,” Hill said. “They're the parents’ and the guardians’ babies, but they're my babies when I'm out here in the street."

Community members know Hill for her animated efforts to get families across the street safely.

"Number one goal is safety, that’s the number one rule,” Hill said. “I just try to keep everybody safe as hard as I can."

Hill says people regularly speed through the school zone, causing her to step in to remind drivers of the speed limit.

"I feel like everybody has a child in their family - whether it’s their child, grandparents, nieces, nephews, little cousins - and I just wish people would stop to think, ‘OK, how would I feel if that was my child’s school and I'm speeding through here like that,’" Hill said.

School administrators say her hard work never goes unnoticed.

"The way she does her job, it’s obvious that she loves the kids, she cares for them and the families, and she doesn't act as if she’s doing it begrudgingly,” Eddy said. “It's a joy, and you can tell that every single day."

Hill was named one of Virginia's most outstanding crossing guards in 2015, and she hopes to keep Charlottesville children safe for many years to come.