Curley Keeps Traffic Moving

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Curley on the job.

Curley on the job.

By Kayla Chavier
Staff Writer

All students, staff, or visitors to Westford Academy, whether they take the bus or drive in a car, are accustomed to the familiar face of Sheila Curley.  Every morning, rain or shine, she keeps traffic moving in the intersection of Patten Rd. and Cold Spring Rd.  As seen recently, her rare absences create widespread  tardiness and chaos on the roads near WA.

“If  I can get here, I’m here,” said Curley.

Curley became a main component of Westford Academy in 2008 and has been supervising traffic with the Westford Police Department for 27 years. She has experience with conducting traffic on route 110, the off-ramp on Boston Road, and working with school systems in Westford.

Curley’s experience with the Westford Police Department began in 1976.  She hoped to work after having children and found that traffic supervising fit perfectly into her life.

“Right after I got married and had kids and everything, [and] every time I went by the school, I always said I wanted to [supervise traffic] […]   I did morning, noon, and afternoons. […] It was a good mother’s job,” said Curley.

Besides supervising traffic, Curley invested herself in other fields of the police department.

“[Back then], there weren’t any women police officers. I would do matron duty. I would be called in the middle of the night […] if they arrested a female,” said Curley.

Having women to handle matron duties was crucial to investigations before there were female officers.  Beyond matron duties, Curley committed herself to supervising traffic.  Her dedication to ensuring safety at WA has been recognized by other staff.

“She’s irreplaceable,” said Dean Robert Ware. “Anytime we need someone out there she’s a phone call away, and she’s always so loyal and dependable. It’s a nice face to see in the morning.”

Changes in the weather or in the school day’s schedule does not prevent Curley from carrying out her duty at Wesford Academy.  When she is working, it is all about the traffic.  She is determined to keep the students safe, and on the job she is extremely focused.

“As long as they all come in safe, I’m happy,” said Curley. “[On the job,] I don’t think. Once I get busy, I’m in a zone.”

By being there every morning, Curley prevents the chaos of unmoving traffic. Every year, the seniors rely on Curley to get them to their first class on time, as shown by this article from last year when she was absent.

“Without her, the world basically shuts down […] she’s the best,” said senior Sydney Pouliopoulos.

Curley marvels at the respect students at WA have for her.

“Everyone has always been very special to me […] [and the kids have] always been really nice,” said Curley.

Although Curley retired from the police department in 2004, her passion of supervising traffic and keeping students safe drove her to Westford Academy.  She’s unsure of when she will retire from this job, but she is just content to enjoy life day by day.

“She’s the unsung hero for our traffic outside, […] because with all the people that come here everyday, it’s a busy place and we’re all aware of that. The job that she does…she makes a difficult job look easy,” said Ware.