Four generations of the Gomez family have been students at Killip Elementary School in Sunnyside, and one family member has been showing up for class every day for the past seventeen years.
Cruz Gomez spends five and a half hours a day at Killip surrounded by children, staff and teachers as he works as both the school crossing guard and an aide on the playground and in the cafeteria at lunch.
On Monday, Gomez will celebrate his 90th birthday, and he has no plans on hanging up his high-visibility vest and stop sign.
"Maybe I will still be here when I'm 100. As long as I can walk real good, I will be here." he said while keeping a watchful eye on traffic slowly driving through the school crossing recently.
As Gomez was carrying out his duties Wednesday there was music on the lawn in front of the school, balloons and students working on writing birthday messages to Gomez on a giant banner.
Mia Garcia, 8, knelt in the middle of the banner with a furrowed brow as she wrote to her crossing guard before heading into school with her class.
"He's the best, I really like him," she said as Gomez raised his stop sign and stepped out into the crossing to shepherd a family across the street.