CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - One of Chattanooga's longest-serving school crossing guards got the surprise of her life Thursday.
As she celebrates her 83rd birthday, and 47 years on the job, Odessa McCullough was treated to songs, gifts and tributes from the community that loves her. "Miss Odessa" serves the Tommie Brown Academy on 8th Street, just across from the UTC campus.
Her granddaughter, Kymberli Brooks, contacted Eyewitness News School Patrol a few weeks ago about Miss Odessa's birthday. A suggestion for a simple news story blossomed into a full-blown birthday party, complete with gifts, songs, cards and dignitaries.
Principal Lea Ann Burk joined Chattanooga Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Jerri Weary, Hamilton County Commissioner Dr. Warren Mackey, Hamilton County School Board member George Ricks and Superintendent Dr. Jim Scales in honoring Miss Odessa.
Several local businesses, including Lowe's, BiLo and the Barn Nursery surprised the crossing guard with gift cards in honor of her long career of helping children and parents make the safe trip to and from school.
Miss Odessa said she had no intention to retire. She said she loved the school, and obviously the feeling is mutual.